I adapted Ruth Lane’s felt scrap bowl tutorial to include a piece of hand-dyed cotton scrim to make a small textile bowl from felt and fabric scraps. The method involves laying out your fabric scraps on a piece of water-soluble fabric (WSF), creating a sandwich by adding a second piece of WSF, pinning it together and using free-motion embroidery all over it so that all the pieces of fabric are stitched together. Here is my layout (scrim on the botttom, then WSF with felt and fabric scraps – I put another sheet of WSF on top of this):
Here is the finished bowl after wetting out the WSF and leaving it to dry over another bowl:
I most like how the scrim has solidified and looks like water splashing up from the surface of a pond.
I am really pleased with how the apron turned out, all those hours applying wax were worth it in the end! It’s not very obvious from the photo but there are lots of pale greens and blue still visible from the original rainbow dyeing. The label said it was 100% cotton but clearly the waist straps aren’t. I have sprayed it with clear plasti-drip to water-proof it and hope to find out on Sunday if that has worked…
And a close up:
Linking up to nina-marie, off the wall Friday
Life has been a little chaotic over the last week or so with very little room for creativity, all I have managed to do is a little bit of rainbow dyeing but I am hoping to make my first pair of felt slippers this weekend…
These are a couple of pieces of rainbow dyed prefelts:
Some rainbow dyed silk hankies, some of which I hope to use on a scarf for a friend (more on that next week), she chose the pink / orange ones in the top left:
This is the piece of ice-dyed felt from a few weeks ago, I used some of the purple prefelt to needle felt “shards” onto the surface before fulling. I had intended this to be a book cover but now realise I haven’t left enough felt to the side of the purple shards for the flap, it might have to become a gadget case instead…
I was curious to see if a batik style dyeing could be employed for wool felt, here I have used liquid cold wax on a piece of rainbow dyed prefelt. I think you can see from the photo that the wax had a tendency to sit on the top of the wool so I tried to push it down using the nozzle on the bottle. Hot wax might work better.
I used some black and magenta dyes over the batik and steamed for an hour. As you can see the wax has melted and spread across the wool.
This is the reverse side, no wax is visible and the dyes don’t appear to have been hindered from penetrating the wool.
This is what it looked like after removing the wax with a hot iron. Although the lines aren’t as distinct as what you get with cotton, I was surprised to see any lines at all given how the wax wanted to sit on the surface of the felt.
It sort of worked but gives quite a delicate effect.
This post is an extension of Ruth Lane’s excellent tutorial on the Felting and Fiber Studio blog where she describes ice dyeing for plant based fibres (silk also works well in that method).
I have been trying out a couple of different methods to dye some sheets of merino prefelt (I’m sure the same method could be used for wool top but I can’t see the point as you will loose the beautiful patterns when you come to use the fibre). This is the first (and I think the most successful and least messy) method:
- mix 1/4 cup of vinegar into each litre of warm water needed to cover your prefelt, add a drop of washing up liquid
- thoroughly soak your prefelt in the mix, gently squeezing the wool to ensure it is saturated, I left mine for 10 min before the next step. I know most people leave it soaking for a lot longer but I am too impatient!!
- cover the bottom of a large jar (canning jars are great for this) with just enough ice to cover the bottom
- sprinkle on your choice of acid-fast dye powder, I used a total of about half a teaspoon for each layer and 3 colours – black, blue and red
- gently squeeze most of the water from your prefelt but not all, it should still feel heavy with water, and drop into your jar
- cover with another layer of ice
- keep repeating steps 4 to 6 until the jar is nearly full or you have used all your felt
- finish with a layer of ice and more dye powder
- set aside overnight or until all the ice has melted
- to fix the dye it needs to be heated for 40-60 about minutes, as there is quite a lot of water in the jar from the ice, I put mine in a pan of gently simmering water for 90 min to ensure everything is heated for at least 40 min.
The colours are far more intense than I expected and I think that was largely due to using the black which becomes a deep purple at lower concentrations, sounds like the perfect excuse to have another go… ;o)