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Topic: Creating rust stains?  (Read 975 times)
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« on: November 02, 2010 01:30:34 PM »

I just came up with an idea to make a cotton shirt sleeve look like it's had a rusty gear lying on it.  I'd like the image to be fairly clear.  I don't mind if the image itself fades when washing,  but I don't want the image to damage other clothing with contact. 

How would I do this?  What materials would I use for both the template and the transfer?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010 09:18:37 AM »

I read a fascinating article on a fabric dyer's blog about how she uses rust in her creative process. Wish I could recall the blogger, but the general gist was that she wraps various iron-based goodies into a piece of natural-material cloth that will eventually become an amazing scarf. I think some she wrapped with string or elastic and others she just loosely "included" in the fabric ball. Then she whipped up a water-bleach mix in a lidded bucket (don't recall her percentages), tossed the fabric ball in there, put a lid on and let it sit in the sun for a few months. The whole point is that the bleach, while it does weaken the fabric, accelerates the rusting process, transferring the iron oxide stains to the fabric. I think she said she got the idea from the fact that Victorian clothing is often rust stained simply from extreme age and she wanted to figure out how to make 100 years of rusting in a couple months.

So, my suggestion is, go to a junkyard and ask the nice mechanic(s) to help you find a big ole rusty gear, pay the whole 5 or 10 bucks they'll want (heck, I've gotten random junkyard goodies for free just by asking), then the fun begins!

I think the best thing to do is pre-soak the gear suspended from a string in a bleach-water mixture to get it more rusty. Then undo the seam under the sleeve and down the side of the shirt so you can lay it flat. Wet the shirt, lay it on a piece of wood, set the rusty gear on the sleeve and walk away. Maybe re-bleach the gear every day and take care to lay it on the shirt the same way. I think after a couple weeks, it'll be a really obvious and mostly permanent rusty gear image on your shirt. Wash the shirt by itself a couple times with some vinegar in the wash water and it should be fine, transfer-wise.

Please note that's allllll conjectural, as I've never done anything even remotely like it! You totally need to share your results Cheesy

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