Some Fun in the Sun

Had an enjoyable couple of hours playing with my Jacquard Dye-na-Flow textile paints. As much as I would love to try dyeing larger pieces of fabric, I just don’t have a convenient setup at home to do it. Textile paints are a good alternative for creating little bits and pieces I can use in my projects. I especially like Dye-na-Flow because it doesn’t affect the hand of the fabric much at all. I bought a few yards of Kona PFD (prepared for dyeing) on deep discount at my local big-box fabric store, and cut it up into fat quarters and some smaller pieces and have been gradually using them up. I got some very good effects with Dye-na-Flow and sun printing, by variously folding, scrunching and pleating the fabrics as they dry. The exposed surfaces of the cloth dry darker and more intense, and the insides of the folds and valleys become paler. Also, the more diluted the paint is, the paler the colors will be, and the two “scrunched and pleated” pieces were very wet to begin with. Here are my pieces when they were wet and first put out to dry in the sun.

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And here are the finished pieces. These three smaller green pieces were sprinkled with kosher salt but left flat to dry. The shadows of the individual grains of salt are actually visible in the prints, almost like they would be in a photo or an x-ray.

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The larger pieces were all folded. The first one below was loosely pleated and formed into a ring so the pleats would stay in place.

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This one was scrunched.

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And these three were wrapped and scrunched onto PVC pipe cylinders with sisal twine. You can see a couple of white spots in the blue ones where the water and dye didn’t penetrate all the way to the innermost folds next to the pipe. They were wrapped very tight, with spacing between the winds of string only about 1/2″, and pulled together very close. In the top blue one, about half way through the winding process, the fabric developed some folds since it was slightly off-square when I started winding it. This made some interesting jags in the design. The red/magenta/yellow one had string about 1″ apart, and was pulled together a bit more loosely, so it got completely saturated with both water and paint. That resulted in a much more uniform overall pattern.

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Now, what will I do with them? I’m not quite sure but I expect I’ll come up with an idea!

My next sunny-day project will be to do some cyanotype prints with Solarfast dye (also by Jacquard).

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3 thoughts on “Some Fun in the Sun

  1. What interesting results. I love the comparison and explanation of them, too. It’s always fun to see what you’ve been doing.

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  2. You have some lovely fabrics to work with now. I particularly like the blue pleat-y ones. I would be inspired, if only we had some sun.

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