Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Couple of Days of Mandalas -- Some Experiments with Folds and Techniques

Well, I had just about five yards left of pfd fabric on my last old bolt!!  So I decided I would go all out and just do the 22 inch squares with all that was remaining which resulted in 18 new pieces, most of which were pretty successful.  I also decided to try some different folds this time around and press them all nice and tidy before I soaked them.  These were all just folded into quarters and then  into eighths so that there were not as many layers for the dye to go through.

With all of the pieces in this blog, I also tried something new.  One of my problems has been that if I lay the pieces flat on the grate that I use, I get the markings of the grate which is annoying so I always had to kind of krinkle them as well which was difficult with these small pieces.  So I decided to use a "drop cloth" underneath each of these pieces.  I scrunched up random pieces of soda ash soaked fabrics and placed them on the grates.  Then I laid out the spiral folded pieces on top of these and I laid them out flat.  This worked really well to eliminate the lines I had gotten and gave me some pretty impressive random ice dyed pieces as well!!  I had tried leaving pieces sitting on the bottom of the pan last  year and they were hideously ugly for the most part but this worked really well.

This is a closeup of one of the pieces that I folded into fourths and then eighths.  

This is a closeup of a piece that was folded into thirds and then sixths.

This was the result of another experiment I did.  I used very few colors just so I would be able to identify the pieces after they were washed.  In these three pieces, I used a liquid version of the dye (a 10% solution that I made up) and squirted the dyes over the ice.  I was hoping for a good penetration through the layers.  I just used a couple of shades of green and some intense blue on these pieces.  They are much more subtle and I don't think the coverage is any better than with the powdered dyes.  I may try this again with some varying colors.  I did use my "drop cloth" under these as well.

These were all made using the "snowflake" fold -- hexagons.  I have yet to figure out why some are more successful in terms of concentration of color than others.

This is a closeup of the one I deemed to be the most successful of the above bunch.

I had bought a bunch of cotton lawn fabric some time ago to make nightgowns.  I had intended to dye the fabric before I made the gowns but ended up using most of it just as white.  I had some random pieces left so I used them as "drop cloths" and the color was outstanding I thought.  I am definitely going to take those nightgowns and use them as drop cloths in  new dye efforts!!  I may just have to head back to the place I got this fabric and search for more as it was pretty cheap and dyes beautifully (must have been mercerized).

I also used some of the sateen I had left over as a "drop cloth" and it is more subtle but still very nice color.  I think there is a permanent press coating on this fabric as it doesn't take the color as intensely as sateen should.

Just another closeup for your viewing pleasure!!

1 comment:

micky said...

Really beautiful!