Recently, I was commissioned to create fabric for a comforter and pillow shams; seven yards total. The request was for a creamy fabric stamped with leaves in blue, purple and green. I thought, “no problem”. I hadn’t thought through how I would get the soda ash to combine with the dyes without mixing them. And then there was the sheer size of the comforter fabric – approximately 88″x88″.
I decided to set up all four of my folding tables in the garage, adjacent to my dye room. I soaked the fabric in soda ash solution and spun out the excess in the washing machine. I mixed my dyes and thickener, thickened the dyes and began stamping. But the blue dye was too thin. The images ran, the dye dripped. So much for that fabric.
The next day I began again, this time insuring that the dyes were well thickened. It went well and this photo shows the result.
But what to do with the first attempt? Most of the leaves were pretty and sharp. And I can’t waste fabric. No matter how “ugly” I think a piece is, there is something that will improve it and someone who will love it.
I got busy and over dyed it. With two pieces I used a parfait, low-water immersion technique to apply multiple colors:
I decided to try Arashi Shibori to two more pieces. I’ve been doing Arashi as an over dye on multi-color fabrics. It made me wonder how it would look with the leaves. I was pleased with the result:
This could be a whole new direction! I will just think twice before I agree to the next custom request! Not really.