Sunday, 23 December 2012

Experimenting with dyes and discharge printing...

As part of my final third year studies, I really want to get as much out of the textile course as possible and in order to do this, I really want to experiment and learn more about the dyeing process as well as other screen printing techniques. 

I decided that choosing a different selection of fabrics to what I would normally decided to work with, was a good start. I decided that both wool and silk would be a start as these are quite different from the normal fabrics I would choose. 

Using a combination of dyes including Easidyes and acid dyes which are most suitable for dyeing natural fabrics such as wool and silk I chose my colours, taking inspiration from my previous butterfly and moth project. The colours included Easidye hyacinth, Easidye beige and also acid dye navy. For the acid dye I added a level teaspoon of fixative, and as Easidye's already contain this I didn't need to add any. To make up both dyes I used the following formular;

Diluted dye + Fixative (if necessary) + Boiling water 

As part of my time within the dye kitchen, I experimented with different ways of creating resists for tye dye. Examples I used include; stitching, dip dye and tying fabrics with yarn in a traditional tye dye method. In particular I really like the stitching method as this is subtle but effective, I also think it works well alongside other techniques such as the more traditional method. 

After dyeing wool and silk, I decided to experiment with discharge printing as this is also something I haven't done since my first year at university. I really like how the discharge isn't completely white as this adds other colours that I may have not considered beforehand. I particularly like the effects that have been achieved on both fabrics as this shows a comparison in terms on weights of material.  

Overall, I'm really pleased with my few days working within the dye kitchen and print room as feel as if my confidence has really grown with being able to make up dyes for different fabrics, as well as producing lovely effects with discharge paste. 

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