I love using thickened dye and each time I incorporate the technique into a surface design project I learn something new. Working in plein air allows me to grab foliage from the side yard and the freedom to try out different plants. TIP: I've learned over time to grab the leaves with a more distinctive texture on the underside. My goal is to print a pattern - however - if you like a more solid design you can use leaves that are smooth on the underside. Try them both to see what appeals to you!
|There are recipes out there to walk you through the steps to mixing your own print paste but being an instant gratification gal I purchase a mix from Pro Chemical & Dye! I mix the paste with water to reach the consistency of molasses and store in the container on the right. Combining a one to one ratio of soda ash/salt/baking soda I store in the container on the left. Both the wet paste and dry mixtures will store for a very long time. When I'm ready to dye I mix about a cup of the paste/water mixture and a teaspoon of the soda ash/salt/baking soda combination into a cup. I add a teaspoon of dye powder and slowly add water stirring the whole time. You want to reach the molasses consistency again for this project.|
You must wear a mask when working with dye powder!
|Grab some leaves - in this case I'm using grape leaves.|
|We will be working on the underside of the leaf. Using a sponge brush cover the surface as best as you can. The leaves can be delicate so paint softly!|
|Lay the leaf on the fabric!|
|I use a scrap of cloth to cover the leaf and roll a brayer over it. The consistent pressure ensures all the dye is transferred to the fabric and the cloth keeps the brayer clean for repeated use.|
|Remove the fabric...|
|Remove the leaf to reveal the print! I find the leaves are good for about 4 prints each before they get super thin and hard to work with.|
|Here is another example of printed leaves. I gathered these leaves from the yard but I don't know what the name of this plant is.|
|Look at the lovely details left by the textured underside of the leaf! Once the dye has cured for at least 5 hours you can wash and dry like any other dyed fabric. You can stop the design right here or keep going.|
|I decided the grape leaves were too plain. Once I washed and pressed the fabric I went back outside. Pinning my fabric to the table I randomly applied 3 different greens paints across the surface. I added a few swirls of Raw Sienna paint for interest and lastly I dropped gold metallic paint over the fabric - gotta have a little bling! |
The fabric paint was SetaColor.
Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a pack of awesome fat quarters!
The winner will be announced on the 30th so hurry up and comment!