I have been making a few of these recently, dyeing the prefelt is a lot of fun and I think the finished effect is very striking and the bright colours make me feel happy. This piece reminds me of aliums as they go to seed so have called it “Rainbow Alium”.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been doing almost obscene amounts of dyeing this week, one batch was for my C&G course and was predominantly focussed on dyeing different animal fibres in the same dye vat (bag in my case) so you end up with a harmonious blend of colours in a range of materials. I chose to use each pair of primary colours so had 3 “vats” and the these are the results.
Each vat contained, Corriedale top, some alpaca top, silk hankies, ponge 5 silk, a piece of commercial prefelt, some merino pencil roving and a piece of hand spun White Faced Woodland.
For good measure I threw in some of my scoured Jacobs fleece too…
And laid resists over the top that were just slightly smaller than the silk.
Then added 2 layers of the corriedale roving, pulling the tufts was lovely as I had different colours with each pull.
I even spun some of the orange/red pencil roving, my spinning is definitely improving but I’m not about to win any prizes for producing beautifully even yarn.
After felting and cutting out the resists.
I’m really pleased with how this piece turned out but it really comes to life when you hold it up to the light:
I was reading a blog a couple of weeks ago with some scepticism. With the benefit of hindsight I concede my scepticism was a little unfair. The blogger in question had posted about sun dyeing and said that you don’t need to buy those expensive photo-sensitive fabric dyes / paints, any old fabric paint will do. My initial reaction was, if any old fabric paint will do why is there a market for those expensive photo-sensitive paints? Too good to be true right?
The scientist in me made me set my scepticism to one side long enough to perform a little experiment. We all want to save our pennies to spend on more textile toys don’t we??
- Light coloured cotton based fabric (I expect silk will work too but synthetics possibly not – those are experiments for another day 🙂 )
- A pad of newspaper or a large box (I used a plastic under-bed storage box)
- Masking tape
- A spray bottle filled with water
- Fabric paints (I used Setasilk (iron-fix) silk paint and acrylic paint mixed 50:50 with textile medium). If you don’t plan to wash your fabric you can replace the textile medium with water.
- Large brushes (I used the foam type)
- Resists – I used leaves but anything that will lie flat on the fabric and block the light all work well. Paper cut outs and opaque stencils work well.
This is what I did:
- Stretch your fabric over a box or a pad of newspaper with masking tape
- Spray with water until evenly wet, allow the water to disperse while you gather some leaves or other objects to create a resist.
- Working quickly, cover your fabric with fabric paint and lay out your resists, ensure they are as flat as possible to the surface of the fabric.
- Leave in a sunny spot for 2 hours (beware of breezes blowing all your resists away if you put your box outside – I left mine in front of a south facing window).
- The hardest part is resisting the urge to lift the leaves to see what is happening underneath 😉
- Remove the leaves / resists and iron for several minutes to heat fix.
Sitting in the sun catching some rays, the pink and blue on the left is the Setasilk paint and on the right is red acrylic paint mixed with textile medium.
I think I applied the acrylic paint (on the right) too thickly, hence the effect is not so noticeable. In the areas where the paint is a little thinner the leaves are paler.
After 2 hours on a sunny windowsill:
Close up of the salt effect, it appears to have concentrated the paint under the grain and drawn the paint from the surrounding area:
A close up of an acer leaf outline.
This week I have been using some of my handmade papers from a few weeks back and combining them with a variety of felts and fabrics, including my first foray into using Lutrador, to make a batch of cards.
These pieces are Lutrador and 3D fabric medium:
These cards were made from pieces of rainbow dyed felt with hand and machine stitching:
Evolon fabric and Markal paintsticks:
And finally some acrylic felt and organza, with machine embroidery that has been melted with a soldering iron:
They are all 5 inches x 5 inches (13 cm x 13 cm in new money).
And this is just the beginning, I have at least 20 more waiting to be stitched and attached to card blanks, I hope there’s something good on telly… ;o)
Linking up to nina-marie, off the wall Friday
For my last City and Guilds assignment I needed to work with a client to develop a scarf to their specifications, in true Teri tradition I didn’t stop at the one scarf needed to complete that assignment, I ended up creating 3 scarves for different people, all with very different results but interestingly very similar colour schemes. This has been a brilliant journey, and a lot of fun working with some good friends to develop their ideas and realise them into felt and fabric.
The first one was for a good friend, unfortunately she’s a bit photo-phobic so I don’t have any photos of her in her new scarf but I was so pleased with how her scarf turned out that I sought out some more “clients” to work with, and found 2 more willing guinea-pigs.
This is the first scarf, it is a reversible snood with a button to help mould the hood to the head when up. She wanted something warm that would offer some protection from wind and rain in purple / fuchsia pink.
This is the silk side:
This is the felt side showing some of the silk hanky decoration:
A better photo of the silk hanky decorations, these catch the light beautifully:
Having enjoyed the process of working with someone else so much, I went in search of my next
victimclient, Juliet, a friend from work volunteered her services.
She wanted a floaty, decorative scarf. After looking at some samples and finished scarves she selected nuno-felted silk. After lots of discussion (and I think some influence from Tam) we settled on an infinity scarf design.
This is Juliet wearing her new creation:
My third guinea-pig was Tam, another friend from work. She was quite clear from the outset that she wanted an infinity scarf, after looking at a selection of dyed fabrics she settled on the purple stripy cotton scrim (visible as the lowest fold in the photo) with wool in purples and reds with some orangey-red silk hankies for decoration.
I’m really pleased with how they all turned out, all very different and hopefully a reflection of their new owners’ personalities! Thank you all for helping me to complete this assignment, it has been a lot of fun.
Linking up to nina-marie, off the wall Friday