Monday, May 4, 2009

Breaking the Rules

One more image of The Three Brothers Tomb. Currently the sides are hand hemmed, and the tops and bottoms are awaiting stitching when my machine becomes available.

My WholeCloth Banners are dyed using Procion MX cold water dye. I am able to achieve all sorts of outcomes with these. However, there does come a point where yet another layer of dye will not be effective, the fabric has absorbed all it will take and/or another application is not going to give the depth of feature I require. This is when I move on to using a textile pigment/paint (the screen printing type). I have fairly large containers of pigment in just a few basic colours as I prefer to mix my own colours.

When pigments are applied to an already dyed piece, and because they are opaque, they will often appear too heavy particularly if painted as a block of colour. To overcome this I will leave the pigment to air dry for a few hours (but no heat setting at this point), then take the piece to (depending on the size) the bath and while it is soaking, scrub the pigment painted area. Surplus paint will come away leaving a much 'softer' appearance, allowing dye colours underneath to show, and will not make the fabric stiff which is a disadvantage of pigments. Then the fabric is dried and the pigments heat set.

The white area behind this mummy is pigment, initially very opaque. Scrubbing has left it transparent and, in reality, it does show more of the dye colours underneath than appears in the photo.

Everytime I go to the library I like to grab an art book to browse during the following week or so. I deliberately don't choose a textile-related book. It is surprising what one can learn. Last week I brought home a recently published book on John Drawbridge, a well-known New Zealand artist who died in 2005. The book is full of paintings and artworks, quite inspirational.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Diana,

    Am I reading you 'right' . . You screen print, then leave the fabric to partially dry, then scrub some of the screen-printed image off before you heatset? So the length of time you leave it to dry would effect how much will stay on the fabric? Um . . . Which also means you must be using the cold-batch method, or have already cured the previous layer of dye?

    Looking good whatever the magic!