Saturday, March 27, 2010

End result of batik fabric experiments

Remember these? I created some soy wax batik fabrics for my friend Joyce, who has a sewing biz.

Joyce made up a couple of her products using some of the fabric, and here they are:

On the top is a case suitable for carrying eyeglasses or a cell phone. On the bottom is a cover for tissues which can be carried in your pocket or purse. She is a real whizz at coming up with products to use small pieces of fabric! I love 'em!
On a related note, I just bought 20 yards of Kona cloth, so I have lots of fabric for dyeing, batik, you name it! Oooooooh, boy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sun Visor

Here is the first Sun Visor from the fabric I posted about yesterday:

I will need to streamline my process a little if I want to make a large quantity of these, but they are soooo cute, I just have to try! Definitely a plus for summer!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More batik experiments/tie-dye

I came up with a couple more items to stamp with, so here are the latest experiments:

I created a stamp using roofing nails hammered into a block of wood for the piece on the left (all the white dots). The piece on the right has markings from cardboard packaging shapes, including a piece that has a 'honeycomb' shape. I really like how these are coming out, so I may get on a batik tear for awhile!
On another note, I am planning to add sun visors to my product line this year, and I tie-dyed some fabric yesterday to use in making them:

I am working on the first one now, so I will probably post a picture of the end result over the next couple of days. I almost hated to cut into this fabric, but that's why I dyed it, so.....
Lastly, I am in shorts today - a sure sign that Spring is here, whether the calendar says so or not! Here's hoping the sun is shining where you are too!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Soy Wax Batik samples

I finished the 2 samples I was working on, and here they are:

I'm pleased with how they came out, but what's even better is the gal I was making them for likes them as well! She is going to see how they look made up into some of her products, and if all goes well, I will be doing larger pieces of fabric for her. Yaaaayyyyy!!! Meanwhile, I'm kicking around ideas for how to make block print stamps out of wood... got enough scraps in the garage to play with, I just need to figure out how to cut and assemble them. More fun!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Experimental mode

I have been doing a lot of experimenting lately... kinda reminds me of when I took Melly Testa's class in 2007, only then I didn't know what I was doing. Now I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous, but my horizons are wide open too! Today I started to experiment with some fabric scraps, soda soaking and drying them, then applying some dyes with paint brushes. I plan to let them dry, then use soy wax to stamp some designs over them, then when the wax is dried I will overdye, then maybe repeat the process with another layer. I have a friend who sews professionally, and she asked me if I could create some batiked fabric, and since I haven't done much batiking lately, I decided it was a good project to get me back into it. So here is a picture of the first step:
I know... it looks pretty gaudy awful right now, but I wanted to start off with some really eye-popping bright colors to start with. Then when I stamp and overdye, I'll have some bright spots in a darker background... at least, that's the plan! No, Melly... I did not thicken the dyes! I wanted them to run together nicely... and if anyone out there knows of a source for wood block stamps that can be used to batik with, please let me know! I'm sure I could make some, but it would be so much simpler if I could just find some!
Meanwhile, stay tuned... more pix to follow!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Inspired to experiment

Two of the bloggers I follow regularly - Cynthia St. Charles and Connie Rose - have recently posted about their dye experiments. Cynthia recently tried snow/ice dyeing, and Connie did some comparisons between dyeing dry and wet fabric, presoaked in soda ash solution and applying the soda ash after the dyes were applied. In both cases, they used a soda ash solution with salt added, which I have not tried yet. So I decided to do some experiments similar to Connie's with salt added to my soda ash... i have previously posted about my ice/snow dyeing experiments.
All of today's pieces were scrunched and placed in small containers first.
Here are my results from today's batch:
The pair above were processed as follows: Left sample I soaked in the soda ash/salt solution for 1 hour, then applied the dyes and batched for 1 hour. Right sample I dyed the fabric dry, let set for 1 hour, then added the soda ash/salt solution and batched for an hour.

The next pair were done as follows: both pieces were presoaked in warm water for 30 minutes; excess water was squeezed out, then scrunched and placed in small containers.
Left sample was soaked in soda ash/salt solution for 1 hour, then the dyes were applied and batched for 1 hour; right sample was dyed, set for 1 hour, then soda ash/salt solution was applied and batched for 1 hour.
In all cases, I used 1 1/2 ounces of dye, and 1 1/2 ounces of soda ash/salt solution.
I have to say that adding salt to the soda ash has created much more interesting, distinct markings than my regular method with just soda ash. Cynthia e-mailed me to tell me she normally used salt to achieve better markings, and I'm sold! And I like seeing the different effects that can be achieved by varying things like starting with wet or dry fabric, pre-soaked or soda soaked after dyeing. Thanks ladies for your inspiration!