No matter which fabric dyeing techniques you use, dyeing fabric can be a fun--some might even say transformative--creative experience. Pulling the hand-dyed fabric from the dye bath to reveal the colors and patterns you have created is absolutely magical.
Of all the printmaking techniques for fabric, sun printing has to be one of the most fun. It's truly magical to watch the "prints" develop right before your eyes. All the printmaking supplies you need are the sun, stencils or objects to "resist" the light, fabric, and a chemical solution that reacts to UV light.
Photos and sketchbooks can help you keep track of textures and patterns when you travel. But you can also collect these souvenirs in a more tactile way--by painting on fabric.
I love dyeing fabric with Procion-MX Fiber Reactive dyes, they allow me to create fabric that is just the color and visual texture that I need for each of my textile art projects
You know how one piece of sparkly jewelry or a metallic accessory can enliven an outfit? Using foil in your surface design can do the same thing for textile art.
Looking to stir up a little fun in the kitchen? Try dyeing with resists from the kitchen! You can create many of the same effects as wax batik techniques using resists off your pantry shelf.
Over the years I've learned several surface design techniques
for creating unique fabrics. Dyeing, fabric painting, discharge dyeing,
stamping, and screen printing--they all make me feel like a kid again,
getting creatively messy with color and pattern
Usually when hand-dyeing fabric
you're trying to put color in. With discharge dyeing, your objective is
to remove color in an artistic way. You can create patterns on fabrics
using many of the same methods you would use for other surface design
processes, including painting and shibori techniques.
A few years ago I visited Old Sturbridge Village (a living history museum in Massachusetts) with the kids and was fascinated by the costumed interpreters demonstrating how to hand dye fabric with horse chestnut hulls. I tried it myself at home, but limited success--probably because I tried to speed up the process and didn't follow the instructions I found on the Internet.
If you've never hand-dyed fabric before, the process can seem intimidating. Yet learning how to dye fabric is not that different from learning how to cook. If you follow the recipe and take simple safety precautions, you will almost always end up with a feast of delicious color.
Last year about this time, I was inspired by a group dyeing adventure at the Interweave offices to host my own dyeing party at home.
I'm an equal-opportunity fabric monger: I drool just as much over hand surface-designed fabrics. I gobble up every new technique and have even tried some fabric stamping, ice dyeing, resist dyeing, and fabric painting. I love it.
Last year when Pantone announced its Color of the Year—Tangerine Tango—I was a fan. I like cheerful, sunny colors, and this one hit the spot for me. I could see using it in different modes, from fabric to embroidery, to surface design techniques.
Usually when we hear the word shibori, we think of dyeing. Shibori dyeing come from the Japanese term for several methods of resist dyeing using binding or tying, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it, or capping to create patterns.
I returned to New England from QuiltCon in Austin, Texas, this week, I
couldn't help but notice: it snowed again while I was gone. Yes, while I
was in the climate-controlled comfort of the exhibit halls surrounded
by colorful quilts--and quilters--Mother Nature had thrown another heavy
blanket of snow over my region.