2 March 2012


... but not what some may think. No, I'm not going to write about music and gloomy teenagers. I'm still preoccupied with dye. If you've been following my dyecation you might remember that I started on Monday (five days ago) with a Finnish brand of fibre reactive dyes by Emo-Tuotanto. I was suspecting that the dye was too old and that it wouldn't work, and decided to put it to the test. I'm glad to say that it yielded a very dark blue, so I won't have to throw it out yet.

Some of the fabric samples I did were very successful, others less so. But the less successful ones were like that due to bad technique rather than bad dye. The shibori samples were too loosely tied (I thought I didn't have to tighten them as much when they weren't going in a proper dye bath), the fabric I thought was going to be marbled was hardly marbled at all (so it just looked like a bad dye job) and the printing with liquid dye would have worked if I hadn't got a bit carried away and dribbled dye over it to make things merge a little (everything merged). But not to worry. I came up with a surface design solution, which I'll show you below.

Here are the ones that I felt were most successful:

The floral motif was made with wire that I bent into a flower shape and dipped into melted soy wax before stamping with it, and the stripey pattern was made with a silicone brush. These dark blue fabric would look great combined with sashiko embroidery...  :-9

As for the stamped sample, I rescued it by stamping over it again with the same stamp, but this time I used discharge paste instead of dye. I have a jar of Jacquard discharge paste in my stash of 'Things To Try Soon' (remember my stranded 'Try a New Thing Every Day'-challenge?), so that was two for the price of one: fabric improved and a new thing tried. In fact, I got so inspired by the discharge process that I picked out the bad marbling sample too and a stencil I've been wanting to try, and used the paste with that.

I cut this stencil in December, but was so exhausted by the way my life was going at that time that I never got round to trying it out. It's a bit tricky to use, because it's really too intricate to be a stencil. It would work better as a silk or thermofax screen. But I got a bit carried away... Again.

I cut it out very carefully, and can use the negative image as a mask. That's another two for the price of one!


  1. That blue is gorgeous! Your soy experiments are wonderful. I especially like the wire flower one. And your discharge fabrics - wow! Beautiful! I love your stencil and the resulting fabric. You are really creating some beautiful cloth!

    1. Thanks Jeannie! Oh, I have so many ideas still untried - a week passes all too quickly! But I have had scads of fun.