Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Printing & Dyeing

Another round of low water immersion dyeing today, with a different procedure...

This time I wetted the fabric first, squeezed out the water, folded or scrunched and put in little tubs, added soda ash/salt in warm water and let stand for 15 minutes, then added the dye (very little dye, actually), and let them batch for close to 3 hours. Although the color areas were far more distinct than yesterday's experiment, I still haven't gotten the results I'm looking for. So tomorrow I'll try something else.

I'm thinking, though, that perhaps LWI just isn't my medium for dyeing fabric. With all the other techniques I'm learning and using, I'll probably just let this one go.

But my deconstructed screen printing is really improving, thanks in large part to Kerr Grabowski's fantastic DVD. If you're interested in this process, check out this highly recommended DVD, as well as Kerr's groundbreaking work.

I prepared numerous screens over the weekend, and started printing today. The first one was prepared using ice cream sticks. The actual piece looks way better than the photo.

The last piece was made with bubble wrap, mostly. I eventually put another couple of layers of print on the piece before it was finished.

More of this tomorrow, another LWI experiment, and possibly I'll start basting my next quilt!

Before I sign off, here's a photo of my wet work table set up to print. Most folks use something more formal to print on, a padded board of some sort with fabric stretched over it, then the fabric to be printed pinned onto that.

What I've come up with is this: the pad-looking thing is a very large canvas tarp that's folded so many times that there are 16 layers here, which provides more than enough padding and a surface with "give." Under my fabric to be printed is a piece of 1 mil plastic that's big enough for the fabric plus extra coverage if the screen goes beyond the edge of the fabric. Using t-pins, I stretch the fabric onto the tarp.

After I print, I clean off any excess dye around the fabric, then pick up the plastic with the fabric on it and lay it on the floor someplace to dry. After it's dry, I fold up the fabric in the same plastic, and steam it. I usually steam 8 or 10 pieces at a time this way.


Rayna said...

Hey - whatever works! As long as you can pin into it, you're fine.

I never do my dyeing the same way, which is why I get such icky results.
Today I wetted/scrunched in soda ash and then added the dye. We'll see what it looks like tomorrow when I get to the studio.

Ginny Gaskill said...

Looked at your posting today with great interest. I just got a copy of the DVD you mentioned. Can't wait to get started.

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

If you haven't already checked this out, I highly recommend it:
I follow Paula's basic instructions for my LWI pieces, and have seen a trememdous improvement in my results.
And I love Kerr's DVD! I'm hoping to get back to experimenting with deconstructed screen printing next month... can't wait to see more of your experiments!

Unknown said...

for my eye, i love these textures, especially the bottom one.makes me think about what i could do with bubblewrap in my chosen medium. do what you love. of course, i know you will.