Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Playing with Fabric

I've finally taken pictures of the process I use when I dye fabric or do screenprinting.

First the fabric is washed unless it is purchased as "PFD", prepared for dyeing. If I'm doing screenprinting, I will do a soda ash soak of the fabric and hang it to dry. Once dry it's ready to print.

I've been doing "deconstructed screenprinting". To establish a design, I place items under the screen. I like to use bubble wrap but you can use a lot of different things to get an interesting print. I take thickened dye and pull it through the screen. The screen is left to dry, usually overnight.

When the dye covered screen if fully dry, I'm ready to print. I place the dry fabric on top of a protective table cover. I then place my silkscreen frame on top of the fabric. Release paste is placed in the well of the screen and I pull the print. With this process it is possible to print the screen perhaps three or four times depending how quickly the dye releases from the screen. Cover the fabric with plastic, and let it sit overnight before washing. Wash in cold water then rinse in hot water. The colors do fade a bit after washing but I like the subtle differences. Sometimes I'll use two or three colors of dye on the screen. There are no mistakes and I'll use the dyed fabric in some quilt projects. If you plan on trying this, I recommend you check out some books at your local library on Fabric Dyeing or check out sites on the Web.  I have added a link (click on title of this post) that I like that was posted by Fibermania called "lazydyer".

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