forest floor cloth

10 May 2009
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Dated fabric overdyed, painted and crackled

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on 10 May 2009 12:49 PM

Jud beautiful. Did you use traditional batik'ing methods or some of the new gels? What's it going into?

Caz McGill wrote
on 10 May 2009 5:15 PM

Yes, please share your technique? it's a lovely effect.

Barbm12 wrote
on 11 May 2009 12:21 PM

Thank you!

I inherited loads of good quality but dated fabrics.  Nice 100% cotton with high thread count in not my taste prints.  So....I wanted to recycle them and have been experimenting with a number of ways.

On forest floor I did a number of layers.

First Layer- Crumpled and dyed fabric using terracotta and yellow oxide colorants.  Allowed to air dry then pressed. This is to create a ground. 

Second layer- Stamped and stenciled using Colorant.  This is more about a random but even distribution of color.  I wanted the outlines soft. 

Third layer- Stamped and stenciled using gold Shimmers.  More definition this timefor the top layer of leaves.

Fourth layer-  Taped cloth down to a board.  Mixed plain old flour and water into a paste and smeared across the whole thing.  Allowed to dry about 32 hours, bone dry.  Pushed here and there to create cracks.  Brushed black colorant mixed with water and FabricMagic over the top.  Blot off excess black mix.  You can pick the fabric up and hold to the light, look at the back side and see if there are enough cracks.  Allow to be pretty dry before going on.

Now the tedious part comes, pick off the flour paste.  Some comes off in chunks but most in little peas.  I rub and scrap.  When it is mostly clean rinse under cold water. 

That's it.  You are sweet to ask.  Its a very inexpensive way to get a cool effect.

Caz McGill wrote
on 11 May 2009 3:07 PM

Thanks, Barb. I thought you might've used the flour paste for the crackling. I tried it once and really loved the way it turned out, but mine was no where near as effective as yours. It's all that interesting gourndwork you did beforehand! Love it.

Barbm12 wrote
on 12 May 2009 9:56 AM

Thanks, you are very kind.  I enjoy doing this and could spend all day, everyday remaking fabrics.

cousette wrote
on 18 May 2009 2:29 PM

Thaks for your explanation ! I love the textured effect and the colours !

on 29 May 2009 2:44 AM

Wonderful! And thanks for sharing the technique with us!

jojo wrote
on 2 Jun 2009 6:10 PM

Just beautiful!

on 23 Dec 2010 12:58 PM

Really cool layer upon layer efffect. The piece certainly lives up to its name. Thanks for sharing the techniques involved.


on 4 Jan 2011 1:20 PM

Great texture and layers!  Can't wait to see it used in a finished piece!  Thanks for sharing your techniques.