Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Surface Design Tuesday

Three out of the last four Tuesdays have been surface design days for me, so I'm going to aim to make it a regular thing.  Here's what I did yesterday ~ two of my favorite things at one time...discharge and roller printing.  All the fabrics are commercially dyed black fabrics and I used thiox paste to discharge with.  It was essentially the same process as printing with thickened dye on white fabric, but in this case, black fabric and color remover paste.

The first photo is a selection of fabrics after they were discharged and before they were machine washed with a bit of Synthrapol.

These three pieces are linen or linen/rayon -- probably my favorite fabrics for just about anything.  The two top pieces had textured things placed underneath the fabric, then I rolled over the fabric with a foam roller loaded with thiox paste.  The bottom piece is a handcut stencil that I placed on top of the fabric and rolled over.

Thiox paste is a fantastic way to discharge.  Start with print paste -- you can purchase "kits" at Dharma or make it yourself with urea, water softener and sodium alginate.  To a half cup of print paste, add pre-dissolved 1 tsp soda ash and 1 tsp thiourea dioxide (thiox) color remover in a bit of hot water.  You can vary the amount of thiox -- more will take more color out -- and you can also thin the mixture with water for a looser application.  You can use thiox on ANY natural fibers with no damaging effects.

This piece was created with a small silk screen that I patterned with blue glue gel many months ago.  Normally, being a silk screen, I would use a squeegee or similar scraper type thing to draw the paste across the screen.  But here I used a foam roller.  The design is a bit more diffuse because of rolling over it rather than forcing the paste through the screen with a hard edged thing.

This piece was done like the one above -- the silk screen had been patterned with soy wax a few months ago.  The dark areas are where wax was on the screen.  Incidentally, with both waxed screens and glue gelled screens, when you wash them, use cool water.  Since hot water melts both the glue and the wax, these screens last a lot longer -- meaning, you get much more use of the patterns before you need to wash them out completely and start over.

For this piece, I used two rubbing plates underneath the black fabric, and rolled over with the thiox paste.

And these last two pieces are the sleeves cut from a short-sleeved t-shirt that became a tank top. 

As soon as each individual piece has had discharge paste applied, take it to your ironing board and do this: lay a piece of newspaper on the board, lay the fabric down with the discharged side up, lay down another piece of newspaper, and steam and press with a hot iron.  High heat and a lot of steam release the color from the fabric.  You can also spritz the top sheet of paper and iron with a dry iron -- the water you spritzed will create steam.  Keep doing this all over the fabric.  After a bit you can remove the top sheet of paper and iron right on the fabric.  You can see the colors lighten with more heat.  You can turn the fabric over and iron the other side.  Sometimes both sides will look great.

Take these precautions when releasing discharge paste:  Wear a respirator, work by an open window, have a fan on to keep the air moving toward the window and out.

Typically I do a number of pieces at one time, and as they're finished I throw them in a pile, then machine wash them all at once.  Use hot water and a couple tablespoons of Synthrapol.  Dry the fabric, iron, and you're done!

9 comments:

Sarah said...

oh, these are so gorgeous! Thank you so much for going through your process!

Gerrie said...

i love these. I love it when you can get a gray/white discharged image.

Alice said...

Does that ever look like fun! And what gorgeous fabrics.

Approachable Art said...

Absolutely wonderful, Connie!

I'm so sorry, you tried to PM me the other day and I was in such a sorry state (I'd just gotten tossed out of my masteries class!) that I couldn't chat and I hadn't told anyone yet, so I couldnt explain myself. LOL

I promise to be more receptive to PMs in the future. <3

Louisa said...

Beautiful fabrics! Thanks so much for sharing your technique.

Jonadele Fashions said...

Do you let the thiox dry before you iron and steam it? Love your fabric.

tiedyejudy said...

Beautiful! And I am curious to try the ironing process your way. I was always under the impression the thiox had to be dry before steaming too, but it took a lot of steam ironing to activate it that way, and I'm very impatient! think I'll try your way!

frazzledsugarplummum said...

Wonderful pieces. Thanks for sharing how you did them. It really looks like so much fun!

Debrina said...

Wowza - jsut stumbled across you, as you do on blogger! I love your fantastic prints and your quilts are just beautiful.