I have been making Lino prints ready to experiment printing on fabric with procion dyes with inspiration from Ikat woven fabric and Ottoman textile design
I have used fabric paints in the past however as these are pigment based the prints are stiff and change the nature and drape of the fabric. Dyes are permanent and do not affect the hand.
- Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate) – to fix the dye
- Urea – increases the brightness and intensity of dyes
- Sodium Alginate – to thicken the dye mixture to a print consistency
- Procion dyes – I will start with 4 colours – magenta, royal blue and lemon yellow and black. With this selection I should be able to mix many different colours and tones.
- Synthrasol – to remove any trace of dye in the final wash
- Safety: face mask, rubber gloves and heavy apron
- Table – lined with cardboard and topped with a plastic cover
- Large plastic jug
- Large bucket
- Plastic spoons
- Wooden spoons
- Glass jars to store the thickened dye
- Paint brushes
- Lino prints
- Prepared sticker for the fabric pieces
- Log book
- Pre soak the fabric – I have bought fabric that is already prepared for dyeing and will soak this in a Soda Ash solution over night
- Mix 3/4 cup Soda ash with 7 Litres water in a large bucket and stir until the soda has dissolved. Then add half the fabric and leave to soak.
- Wring out the fabric and then spin in the washing machine to remove excess water. The fabric must remain wet for dyeing.
2. Mix the dye base for 1.5 metres fabric:
Put on the face mask, gloves and apron
Mix together in a large plastic jug:
- 4 cups warm water
- 3/4 cup urea
- 1 tbsp sodium alginate
Mix well with a whisk as the mixture blends and thickens. Divided the paste base into 4 glass jars.
3. Prepare the fabric
As I am experimenting at this stage I will cut the pre-soaked fabric and unsoaked fabric into 20cm squares and lay them across the prepared table.
4. Mixing the dyes
- Face mask, gloves and apron on
- Add 4 teaspoon of soda ash to the paste base and mix in well
- Measure out 1/2 teaspoon of dye powder into a glass jar and add 1-2 teaspoons of water and mix to a paste – it is important not to add too much water and to mix the dye very well so that it has all been dissolved. Unmixed particles of dye will cause streaking on the fabric.
Repeat this process with the other 3 dye colours.
N.b. Once the dye has been mixed with the soda ash in the dye mixture the dye will have short shelf life – maximum 4 hours so my experiment will have to be completed in that time
Use a soak and unsoaked piece of fabric for each experiment. First label the fabric with:
- S – soaked
- US – unsoaked
- Start time
- Completion time
- Comments in log book
- a. Lino print
- b. Brush strokes – wide and fine
- c. Water colour – spraying extra water on the fabric to see how the paste behaves
- d. Stencilling
- e. Printing with a range of shapes – leaves, pasta etc
- Leave 1/3 fabric pieces on the table for 90 minutes before washing.
- Leave 1/3 fabric pieces on the table covered lightly with cling film for 4 hours before washing.
- Leave 1/3 fabric pieces on the table covered lightly with cling film over night for about 16 hours+ before washing.
Finally rinse out the fabric in cold water until the water runs clear and then wash with Synthrapol to remove any last traces of dye.
- Does pre soaking the fabric make a difference to the final colour and design and colourfastness?
- Which printing method is most effective?
- Which colours look best with a white background?
- Which colour combinations work?
- Which techniques work well together?