Saturday, July 19, 2008

I'm Getting Rusty

Well, another beach vacation has come and gone, and I'm glad to be back at home. Because of packing limitations I couldn't take Bernie with me (my sewing machine...yes, my husband and kids got to go!), so I took a small case full of fabric to play with. I played with rust dyeing for the first time, which was really fun and I was pretty pleased with the results...

Here's what I started with...

...plus some plain muslin. I started confiscating everyone's empty water bottles and soda cans, then took chunks of these fabrics, soaked them in a white vinegar and water solution, bunched them up around the various containers, and wrapped them with silver toned florist wire. Then I tied them up in a plastic grocery bag and set them out on the porch to do their thing. At this point I smelled quite like a salad, which made me hungry for lunch...

Fast forward to the next morning and two of them looked 'ready', so I unwrapped the wire and saved it in a large plastic bowl, then took them down to the dock to give them a saline rinse. A couple of the others didn't look 'ready' so I left them - and almost forgot about them! They rusted for a couple more days, which was probably too long. But here's how they all turned out...
Cool huh? I also took another muli-colored piece of fabric and draped it over the unwrapped wire in the bowl (which was all curly springy)...I moved it around a couple of times over a couple of days and kept it covered while processing and here's how it turned out...

The larger areas of rusty color were already in the fabric...what the rusting did was leave the little trail marks. I really like this one...the rust over yellow is a yummy combination.




The other thing I did was some discharging...I've done that before with stamps, so this time I thought "why not try a reverse tye-dye?"...so I bunched it up, tied it off, and dunked it into a bleach water solution. I used the green and blue batik fabric shown above, which turned, well, mostly white! Ugh!! The blue swirls were still there - though much fainter but all of the green was gone. Plzzzz. >:-P

I tried to salvage it by overdyeing with left over coffee. There's a story there...see, my FIL thinks coffee is watered down shelf brand, and I think it's full-bodied coffee shop brand, so every year at the beach there is a race to "own" the coffee pot. (I never win that one...he gets up too early!) Anyway, it seemed to be working and I figured I'd continue to alter it with paints or something. Well, when I threw the whole lot of fabrics into the washing machine, guess what...the coffee came out. See, another argument for the benefits of non-watered down coffee!

I had good intentions of doing some 'regular' dyeing, but I didn't get around to that. Oh well. All in all it was fun to experiment. I think I could get used to being rusty...

2 comments:

Nane said...

The first one reminds me of growth rings on a tree....COOL

And tell your FIL he can always add water to your coffee, but you can't make his any stronger once its brewed....maybe that will help.

Janera said...

Wowee! What beauty is found here on your blog. You're quite an artist!

Thank you for the nice comment you left at my place. Please come again. And I'll be back here. Love your work!