Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sun dyeing with glass

A bracken plant was cut down in the garden, it was a hot and sunny day. I just couldn't resist trying some more sun dyeing using the leaves.
I painted the fabric with just three colours this time, green, orange and a mustard yellow. As I was trying to water them down, I mixed the colours a bit. I started to paint it, then I decided that I would see what happened if I used slightly dampened fabric. So I wet it, scrunched it up and painted the dyes onto it. Where the previous painting had dried, the edges are quite visible but the dye moved over the fabric quite satisfactorily.

I placed the leaf upside down as that seemed to keep the relevant parts closer to the fabric.

It was a windy day (high fire danger) so I used random bits of wood I found lying around to keep the fabric flat, you can see the resists around the edges.

I also had a small pane of glass and thought I would lay that down over one part of the fabric to see if I could get a clearer image, my thinking was that the leaf would be kept quite flat to the fabric and should give a clear image.
Not so …

The water in the fabric condensed onto the glass and caused some travelling of the dye. It was still damp despite the hot day and the rest of the fabric being quite dry. The effect is quite interesting but not what I was aiming for - and it would be hard to control. Not that that would be an issue for me, I rarely try to duplicate an image. I just like experimenting. It may have been different if I had not dampened the fabric, just painted the dye on. I suppose I could experiment further on that - later.
But it was an interesting insight as to why I haven't come across other people recommending using glass in the sun dyeing process.

One thing I have noticed with the sun dyeing is that I don't have to rinse the fabric very much, very little dye runs out after the process. Always good in these water-conscious days.


mycamerandme365 said...

An interesting bit of play Mary. I love the first fern print! I always use glass with the negative prints, so I guess it's a matter of experimenting.

Mary said...

A friend suggested raising the glass off the fabric. Then we got interrupted and I didn't get to tell her that I had used the glass to hold the fabric down as it was a very windy day.
When you use glass, do you keep it out of contact with the fabric?

mycamerandme365 said...

Yes, the glass is in complete contact with the fabric. I think that the negative would curl up in the sun without the glass. However I also use the glass with grass seed heads etc. What paint/dye are you using?

Mary said...

I did notice that the frond had curled up much more than the ones that were not under glass. I will think about the surface I used to lay out the fabric - I just used an old laminex table top this time. And I had dampened the fabric, so this may have provided extra moisture that might not be a problem if I only dye the fabric.
However, the different texture is not awful, just not what I had expected.
I used Sun Dye from Kraft Kolour.