Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Surface Design Tuesday
The first photo is a selection of fabrics after they were discharged and before they were machine washed with a bit of Synthrapol.
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.
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!