shibori dyeing adventures on felt

Having used shibori to dye cotton for felting the next obvious step for me is to try shibori on a sheet of prefelt. This time I thought I would try using elastic bands to create roughly circular resists.

This is what it looked like all tied up, I think it looks like a field full of snowmen, Mr TB countered that saying it looks like haemorrhoids :o)

Pickle inspecting my haemorrhoids ;o)
I love the pleating pattern on the reverse side – will have to remember this when I next want to add some patterned texture to a piece. 

Luckily I had the foresight to check if the bound felt would fit in my steamer – It didn’t! So one of the arms was cut off leaving me with a roughly square piece and an oblong piece.

I was striving to have the circles above the bands one colour and the base felt another colour. To do this I used my favourite rainbow dyeing technique that involves putting the felt in a zip-lock bag, squirting dye where I want it and massaging the felt to make the dye spread. This gives areas of different colour intensities and if more than one colour is used, colour blending.

Here is the dye added to the bulges above the rubber bands, you can see where I have started to massage the bulges in the lower left to disperse the dye:

On the reverse side I used red dye and massaged again to distribute the dye.

I used green and blue for the other piece, here is the green all massaged through before I added blue to the base.

After fixing in the steamer and rinsing:

I should probably confess… the lovely change in colour intensity in the red/yellow piece is due to a mistake. I forgot to add acid to the soaking water but did not realise until I was rinsing the piece and watching all the lovely colours disappear down the drain. I quickly soaked the piece in a sink full of water with half a cup of vinegar and it appears to have save the band in the middle.

 These are the pieces, front and back after the bands were removed. I find it surprising just how different the 2 sides are, especially on the green/blue piece

I also did a bit of rainbow dyeing on prefelt today, these are the results, I still haven’t decided how I will use them though:

The Beach – Wet felting

I’ve had a very productive day today, done some dyeing, tried my hand at fabric paper lamination (will cover these in another post) and made quite a bit of progress on “the Beach” too. I have laid out all the top for wet felting, I’m afraid I forgot to take a picture before wetting out but here it is before adding the silhouettes:

And after adding the silhouettes and wet felting to within an inch of it’s life…

It has to be a certain size (40 x 67 cm) to fit on the stretcher bars without losing any elements of the painting so I have been rolling this piece all afternoon, I even had help from Mr TB when my shoulders were too sore to carry on, but I think it is finally there. No more wet felting at least although I am planning some needle felting to help define the silhouettes better.

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