Saturday, January 29, 2011


I posted awhile back about my experiments on silk scarves with batik, and how when I overdyed the scarf to darken the unwaxed area, the dye didn't take.  I tried overdyeing again, and still couldn't get the dye to take.  After discussing it in a couple of forums I belong to, the consensus was that maybe I had used up all the fiber molecules... you can only get so many dye molecules to attach to the fiber, then the rest wash out.  Well... I set the scarf aside for awhile, then decided I might as well do some more experimenting on it just to see what happens!  Today, I re-laundered it (I had rinsed it with a softener, and needed to remove that), then I soaked in a Citric Acid solution made stronger than the batch I had used before, and I left it in the solution for a longer time.  For this experiment, I decided to pole wrap the scarf to create the shibori look.  I wrapped it with dental floss and scrunched it tight.  Then I applied thickened dye made with 1 part water to 2 parts  of Dharma Trading's Superclear.  I used Rust Brown and Chocolate brown... a total of 4 teaspoons of dye powder to 1/3 cup of the thickened solution.  Then I applied the thickened dye to the scarf with a foam brush and wrapped it in plastic wrap.  I let it set in the sun for about an hour after it had batched in the laundry room for awhile.  Then I removed it from the pipe, placed it in a zip lock bag and  nuked it for 2 minutes.  The last step was to rinse and launder.  I am happy to say that something worked this time!  Here's the scarf:
I'm not 100% thrilled with the markings, but it's a darn sight better than it was!  Funny thing... the original leaves that I batiked on the ends still show up, although faintly.  And they are dark instead of the yellows they were originally.  What I love about this scarf is the colors.  I'm not totally sure I remember all the colors I used to get the red/orange background, but I'm willing to experiment to get that color again... just like a firey sunset! 

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