Thursday, 2 July 2009

Dyeing Day 2

Well not so much dyeing as painting! As the sun was so strong and the temperatures so high yesterday I thought it was an ideal time to get a quick result from sun dyeing.

The first step was to dampen and then paint with silk paints a piece of linen and a piece of habotai silk. I used some droppers to sprinkle the paint on for this too. I had already gathered some plant material and broken up a metal butterfly necklace and quickly placed these on the fabrics (which were sitting on waxed paper on a board). I then carfeully took the board out into the garden and left it in full sun. The temptation is to fiddle with the masks to see what's happening but it's best to go and do something else and forget about it for a while.

The fabrics did start to dry very quickly and you can see some of the plants shrivelling up as they dried out and starting to reveal the light areas beneath. Once I was sure the fabric was completely dry I removed the masks and this is what I found:

This is the linen which had lavender, geranium leaves and geranium flowers placed on it.

This is the beautiful silk which had the butterflies, lavender and geranium leaves on it and some geranium seedheads. I am so pleased with this piece. Both pieces just need to be ironed to heat set the paints.
It's great fun making your own designs in this way. I don't think you actually need the sun to get a result, just paint your fabric and put your chosen items on it while the paint is wet. I have tried it will solid shapes and soft shapes and you get some lovely effects. I haven't tried it on paper yet but I suspect the effect might be different. I've got some more ideas for resists but I may have to wait a few days for the sun to come back as we are promised rain for the next few days. Thank goodness! I don't do well in the heat.

PS If you click on the 'sunprinting' label it will bring up the sunprinting I did last year.

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MargaretR said...

You have done a wonderful job of these Julie, it's been years since I had a go.

Anonymous said...

Lovely results from both days, particularly the sun dyed piece. I must try it when the sun shines again - in the midst of cold, wet and windy winter here. Did you use a particular sort of silk dye? Pre-treat the fabric with anything? Sue McB

Heather said...

These are so pretty Julie. I don't think I have ever tried this method but may have done years ago and forgotten. It is such a simple technique but gives stunning results. Your fabrics are so lovely and don't really need any other work done on them.

Gina said...

I never knew this could be done with just silk paints (you've probably shown us before and it never sunk in!) Must give it a try - such lovely results.

Jacquelines blog said...

This looks very pretty Julie!

Julie said...

Thank you Heather, that's what my DH said too but I think I would like to work with the silk piece and the butterflies. Maybe I'll make it into a small quilt with some stitching and beads? Who knows? I'll give it some thought.

Pat said...

Beautiful results Juliw

Fran├žoise said...

Both pieces are lovely, especially the silk one.

Helena said...

This is scrumptious!

Sue L said...

These pieces are really lovely. What sort of silk paint did you use, I always thought you had to have special solutions to sun print and would love to give this method a go. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the fabric.

Julie said...

Hi Sue, I just used standard silk paints made by Marabu. They should be heat set but I won't do this as the piece won't be washed. This isn't the same type of printing as cyanotypes which require special stuff. You can get this effect with acrylic paints too. As the fabric dries it draws the water/paint away from the shaded areas which are still wet and thus the area becomes pale. I think that's the science anyway!

Guzzisue said...

I love the magical one with the butterflies :-)