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Topic: Steam setting at home  (Read 2152 times)
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« on: January 19, 2011 04:08:47 PM »

I've been using Procion MX dyes for years at college.  I'm trying to get a home studio set up since I no longer have access to the school's amazing studio.  I do a lot of dye paintings, similar to silk paintings.  I can't afford spend $1000 on a nice vertical steamer.  I've heard of rolling up your work in and using pots on the stove, but I'm worried about it not working well.  I tend to make fairly large paintings 3ft x 6ft.  

Does anyone have experience or advice on what will or won't work?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011 04:09:15 PM by talena » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011 04:13:31 AM »

I use the stove top steam method for painting/dyeing yarn that I wrap in saran wrap and roll up like a cinammon bun. One day I tested this method on a silk handkerchief.  I painted the kerchief with three colors, rolled it tightly in saran wrap and steamed with my yarn.  It came out beautifully. 

I use a 20 quart stainless steel pot, put some bricks in the bottom, and add a few inches of water (about half way up the bricks).  I put my "yarn rolls" on the bricks and steam for 45 minutes.  I overlap the saran wrap to make a piece large enough to accomodate my yarn, and it works fine.  Not sure how small you could roll your paintings, and I would make certain that when you apply the dye, if you don't want it to run together too much, your piece is not too soaked. (You could use an old towel to absorb excess dye off of the painting, wear gloves.)

I use Jacquard acid dyes.

Hope this helps!!
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2011 08:35:56 AM »

Does the saran wrap keep your yarn and fabric dry?  If so that would be a great method for me to try.  The part I'm mostly concerned with is that I don't want any of the dye running when it's steamed.  I'm accustom to wrapping my fabric around a sheet so that none of the fabric is overlapping itself.
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011 04:47:59 AM »

When using this method, the yarn is wet (with the dye since heat sets this type of dye).  I think that the steam would probably create moisture in the saran wrap.  Perhaps you could test a small sample layerd with a towel and see if your design stays intact..
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011 09:57:31 AM »

I will have to play around with this and see what results I can come up with.

« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012 10:09:47 AM »

You could try the build-your-own steamer method at Dharma:


I've always wanted to try this for steaming my silks.  I bet it works great - let me know if you try it. Smiley
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