Printing and Ice Dyeing

Here are the remaining pieces of fabric created by my recent mark making session:

yellow and red dyed fabric

I can’t quite remember what I did for this but I think I squeezed thin red dye solution from a squeezy bottle and then sprayed the yellow thin dye solution before  the red had chance to dry.

red, yellow and black dyed fabric

For this I squeezed lines of thick black dye paint on to white fabric and then sprayed yellow and red dye solution over it while it was still wet so it blended a bit around the edges of the black but not quite as much as the previous fabric.

black fabric scraped with card

This is another of my black scraped fabric.  I think it looks like rock formations.

The rest of the fabric on this page was dyed a couple of months ago.  In January we had the only cold spell of the winter and for a couple of nights, the temperatures went down to about minus 10.  There are several buckets sitting on our patio and they had filled with water from the copious rain we had had, and these had forced nice thick ice circles!  I decided to take these upstairs to my studio and play around with them and a load of dye.  Well, I did come to regret it – despite putting plenty of plastic in and around the area the ice melted faster than I expected and I had various coloured leaks to deal with… But some of the effects were definitely worth it such as the one above.  I did end up dyeing a lot more fabric than expected, mainly to mop up the drips, and these were in a good varied value range.  Below is one of them – on my last visit to the Knitting and Stitching Show I bought some mixed white Egyptian cotton fabric bundles from Empress Mills, mostly in long thin strips (some even thinner than this one) so most of these came in handy.

neutral coloured fabric

A couple more detail shots of the ice effects:

ice dyed fabric green, blue and orange

ice dyed fabric, blue and red/pink

strips of ice dyed fabric - orange, yellow/green/blue and browny grey

Hope you enjoy the varied spectrum of colours on this post!!

More dyed fabric

This fabric was dry painted – using a brush that had been cut irregularly to produce a more  random edge with most of the dye shaken off, it was brushed across the fabric repeatedly, using different colours and shades.  I like the texture produced when it picked up various folds and wrinkles in the fabric.  The first photo is a detailed shot of the second.

dry brushed green fabric

I can see this fabric being useful for landscape backgrounds and suchlike.

dry brushed green fabric - detail

This very interesting piece of cloth is actually the fabric I used to wipe the dye from the plastic used for one of my experiments!  I think the black was thickened dye paint and the greeny colour unthickened but it turned out quite dramatic!

green and black dyed fabric

Mark Making on Fabric

Here are some of the dyed and printed fabrics I promised to blog about.  I bought Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan’s latest book, Making Your Mark and so I decided to have a good play using the techniques outlined by them.

I started by using a credit card to scrape dye paint on to fabric.  I was using dye that had been thickened with sodium alginate.

yellow, blue and red scraped fabric

For this piece, I put the thickened dye into an old washing up liquid bottle and squeezed it out.  Where the blue and red lines are, I left the squidgy line for a few minutes for the dye to strike more strongly in that area, and then scraped it with the credit card.

The result was a bit pale because I was actually using some dye that I had dissolved in water (I used it to do some ice-dyeing, but that’s the subject of another post).  So I decided to turn the fabric over and scrape another design on the back.

blue and red scraped fabric

Incidentally, the fabric I used was from some old cotton pillow cases that I bought for 50p each at the local charity shop.  Lovely fabric and I didn’t even have to scour it first!    Perfect for experimentation…

This was another scraped piece I did at the same time:

yellow and red scraped fabric with blue lines

I made the blue lines this time by dipping a laminated bookmark into the thickened dye and printing with it after scraping the red and yellow background.

For this next piece, I scraped black dye but the marks didn’t show very strongly on the top:

black scraped fabric

But the reverse of the fabric is much more interesting:

black scraped fabric


Yummy buttons and fun with snow dyeing

Around Christmas time I treated myself to a few of Lisa Peter’s gorgeous raku buttons – I love her pottery and I had a hard time deciding which to buy.  I love the earthy feel of these three….



Also around this time, I decided to take advantage of the snow and do some snow dyeing.  I did this totally erratically without referring to any written instructions but I like the way these turned out.  I piled all the fabric on top of each other and this is what it looked like with the snow on top (complete with bits of organic greenery to add to the design!)


Here is one of the pieces of fabric – this is quite transparent cotton organdie (I always wondered what organdie was from the song Scarborough Fair!).


I hung this up on my design wall over the top of one of my practice reeds samples and was interested to note that the reeds were more visible through the black part than the white, for some reason…


Here is a closer look so you can see what I mean:


I think I’ll have to exploit that property sometime!

This is some silk crepe fabric:


I love the strokeable texture of it here:


The colours are closer to the above photos but this one captures the markings better.  I may have taken it when it was wet.  For some reason, silk crepes and organzas are very difficult to photograph without the colours being washed out.  Anyone know why?  I wonder if it is related to the way the light reflects off the fibres.