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Topic: Random fabric dying  (Read 1071 times)
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« on: May 06, 2006 08:58:07 PM »

I really really really want to make a purse, ut I want to buy cream colored canvas and then liven it up by dying and splatter painting it.
I want the fabric to end up looking like the way this Grail shirt looks:

(The brown splotches on the stomach)
Or like this one:

How would I do that, and more importantly hwo woudl I do that so I wouldn't end up dying the entire fabric? I was thinking of puttiung turquoise splotches on the cream canvas. I looked up different dying technique, and I guess the drip dying method would be best, just dipping pieces of the fabric.
But when you wash it, won't the dye tint the rest of the fabric? I've never tie died or anything before in my life and I have no idea how to achieve this look.

...Wait, I just had an epiphany. What if I dry brushed the dye on in random patterns? Would that work? Would the color still run as badly?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2006 09:00:20 PM by kaykayelle » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2006 09:40:16 PM »

Okay, I'm no expert and I'm sure there are many ways to do this...but that first shirt looks to me like it's ben dyed using rust, which we've played with in my textiles class.

All we did was wet some cloth and fill it with an asortment of metal objects, nails, screws, etc. etc. (even better if they are already rusting), fold and scrunch them all into the fabric and either bury the bundle or leave it somewhere damp for a few weeks and voila, they turned out much like the first cloth. I know you can also do this technique with an assortment of chemicals that you can find around the home, but I can't remember what they are, so you could try searching for the ingredients online.

Also, as we were just playing with samples of this technique, I'm not sure how you 'fix' the stains to the cloth so that they don't wash out. (I'm not even sure if rust does wash out...)

Hopefully someone will come along and help you to get this looks using dye too! Wink

ETA - http://www.prairiefibers.com/Rust%20Dyeing.htm - here's a handy link with some rust info
« Last Edit: May 06, 2006 09:43:31 PM by MissMeshell » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2006 09:41:23 PM »

Okay I'm an idiot, I just re-read and realised you wanted the splotches turquoise so just ignore me Tongue LOL
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2006 04:28:39 AM »

I have no suggestions for dying, only for fixing the colors after the fact.  Cheesy

Well, okay, one or two ideas...

If you get some fabric dye and mix it into a paste, you could fling it onto the fabric for splotches.  If you wanted specific shapes - or hints of shapes - you could dip an object, ie a paperclip, into the pasted dye and put it on the shirt. 

Fixing colors...  salt and vinegar are your friends.  Seriously.  Use cold water, dissolve salt, add vinegar, and let sit for 15-30 minutes.  (I tend to use - let me see, 4 liters is 1 gallon, right? - about 1 gallon of water to 1/4 cup salt to 1/2 cup or so of vinegar.  Yep, it smells,  but so what?  This is for art! 

Then rinse in cold water - just long enough to get the salt & vinegar smell out.

Afterwards, when washing, you will probably want to repeat the salt/vinegar bit the next couple of times you wash your garment.  Always use cold water - it helps to minimize color loss.  (That also applies to hair that's been colored - cooler water helps maintain the color longer.)

« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2006 12:50:46 PM »

Fixing colors...  salt and vinegar are your friends.  Seriously.  Use cold water, dissolve salt, add vinegar, and let sit for 15-30 minutes.  (I tend to use - let me see, 4 liters is 1 gallon, right? - about 1 gallon of water to 1/4 cup salt to 1/2 cup or so of vinegar.  Yep, it smells,  but so what?  This is for art! 

Actually salt as a fixative for dye on fabric is a myth. http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/FAQ/salt.shtml  However it is helpful in enhancing color during the dye process especially in a high water to dye ratio. Vinegar will not fix dyes on cotton but is useful with acid and procion dyes on protein fibers(silk, wool, your hair Wink ) However, I do not suggest using these dyes on your hair Cheesy

KayKayelle- Your epiphany would be your best bet. You could use thickened procion dyes and whatever implement you want to use (from a random object to a real paint brush). As far as fixing the dye you could either activate your dye before application with soda ash or soak your shirt in a soda ash solution and then let it dry(the spin cycle on the washer is useful for this). Remember though that activated dye only has a life of 2 hours, after that it has reacted completely with the water it is in.
The final step to fixing the dye is the cure process. For what you are doing I would suggest steaming the shirt. Roll your shirt in newsprint or muslin then loosely jelly roll it and bind loosely. In a pot of about 1" of water place a rack or something that will keep the roll out of the water. Place the roll on the rack, boil the water and place a towel covered lid on the pot. Let this steam for maybe 30 minutes, checking the water level every once in a while.

Let your steamed item cool then rinse it in the washer. I like to do atleast one hot water wash and then a cool one both using synthaprol(a textile detergent that deters dyes from backstaining during rinsing) but shampoo will do in a pinch(low Ph discourages backstaining)

Of course, for a quick simple project You could use slightly dilluted pigment paints, I like Med. Viscosity Liquidex Acrylics. Having them slightly dilluted gives them more of a consistency of thickened dyes and less of a "hand" on the fabric. After they have dried you can heat set the colors with either an iron or a good hot spin in the drier

Have Fun!

Desert Dyeworks Color, meet Fabric!!
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2006 01:53:41 PM »

Thanks for the great responses!

Um, to MissMeshell, I think they did use rust to dye those. In the item descriptions they say rust. I thought they were just talking about the color, I didn't know you could actually dye using rust. Way cool.

I think what I probably am going to end up doing is just brushing it on like I came up with before, now that I have reassurance that that would be a good idea.

« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2006 03:00:34 PM »

May I suggest that you be sure to wash your canvas first so as to get all the sizing or whatever they use to repel liquids off it?
And canvas unravels notoriously so you'll need to zigzag the edge (or something) to stop that before it starts.

The initial splotches almost look like paint that was put down on a very wet cloth surface so that it bled into the fabric, which makes a much softer look. You might be able to get a similar look by putting your paint down and then spritzing the wet paint vigorously with water, to make it bleed..
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2006 04:39:14 PM »

Eek, I had no idea about that with canvas, the unraveling. Thanks for the tip.
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