Fabric Dyeing Experiment

Sunday afternoon I decided to try dyeing a piece of white cotton to another option for the lilly quilt. I use Procion MX dyes and sometimes Rit dyes for fabric, but I didn't have orange or red & yellow to make orange of either of these dyes. My solution was to use my Setacolor fabric paints.

I mixed up the red and yellow to make a medium orange, then thinned it with water and painted it onto the wet fabric with a 2" sponge brush. My piece of fabric is 36" x 60" and I had to really spread that paint out to cover the entire piece. The color was too light so I mixed up more paint in a larger quantity and added more red, then painted it on over top the lighter orange. Yes, I now need to purchase more red and yellow paint!

Since I wanted a textured look, I bunched up the fabric and let it dry on my work surface which is a piece of cardboard covered with heavy plastic. The next morning the fabric was mostly dry so I took the entire piece of cardboard outside and let the wind finish drying the fabric. Since it was cloudy I wasn't concerned about a sunpainted affect which was good since it was also windy and I had to weigh down the fabric and cardboard with rocks. After the fabric dried, I ironed it to heat set it and now it's ready to use!

Here's a close-up of the texture. The photo is a light lighter than the fabric truely is. I love the look of this and think I'll save the fabric for the final quilt instead of using it on the trial run.

An even closer look. I doubt I'll ever be able to dupicate this look again. That's the beauty of hand-dyed fabrics - or in this case, hand-painted fabrics.


Natalie Carlton said…
Did you wash your fabric with synthropol or retain? I dont know if i'm spelling them correct. But you should it help keep the loose dye from bleeding. I'm in love with dying fabric ... at the moment anyway...

Happily Quilting Natalie
Susan Loftin said…
Natalie - I haven't washed this piece of fabric since painting it. I ironed it to heat-set the paints as Setacolor recommends. When I do wash my painted fabrics though, I use Synthropol and hand wash them in my sink. The last pieces of Setacolor hand painted fabrics I washed didn't bleed at all. Hopefully this piece will won't either.

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