Monday, October 19, 2009

Random Acts of Dyeness

Another technique I've been meaning to try for eons -- and finally did -- is potato dextrin resist. This is a process of making a paste of boiling water and potato dextrin (you can also use potato flakes or corn dextrin), and spreading it on fabric after it has thickened. When the dextrin has dried on the fabric, it will have shrunken and cracked, creating fine lines. Then the fabric is painted or dyed, batched, washed and finished like any other dyed or painted fabric.

In these two pieces, I used cotton fat quarters that were originally LWI dyed, and then soda soaked. After the potato resist dried and cracked, I applied black fiber reactive dye, let the fabric dry overnight, rinsed in cold water to remove the excess dye during which time the dextrin washed off the fabric, steamed it, then finished off with a wash in synthrapol.

I'd purchased the potato dextrin from ProChemical quite a while ago, but wasn't able last week to find their instructions I read Dharma Trading's instructions and followed those. The dextrin never thickened up like it should have, I didn't have time to use it the day I mixed it so left it in the refrig overnight, and still the next day it wasn't very thick -- which meant that it left pools of dextrin on the fabric that weren't thick enough to crack. I called ProChem, was directed to their instructions online, and sure enough, their recipe calls for nearly twice the amount of dextrin to the same 2 cups of water! I'll definitely do that next time.

These last two pieces were direct printed with items I used on deconstructed screens -- after applying thickened dye to the screens over these textured objects and pulling the objects off the screens, I turned them over, laid them on fabric, and applied pressure with my hands. The dye and the texture are just too good to waste!

Today in the studio I printed off most of the screens I prepared last week. I can't wait to show you those images -- I think they're my very best deconstructed prints yet!


Unknown said...

I love the deconstructed prints, just lovely!

Anonymous said...

These fabrics are awesome, Connie. I too have the dextrins from Dharma and just haven't gotten around to trying them out yet...but now I'm definitely inspired!

Gerrie said...

These are fabulous.

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

Girl.... you just keep my creative juices boiling! Ever think of teaching a class? I can't believe there aren't fiber artists out there who wouldn't just love to dive into the techniques you are working with!