Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Disperse Dyeing

As I mentioned last week, I took a disperse dye class with Holly Brackman at the SDA/SAQA conference in San Francisco.  I wasn't sure when I looked a the list of classes if this was the one for me, because disperse dyeing is used mainly on non natural fabrics, such as nylon, polyester and rayon acetate.  These are not fabrics I would normally work with, but I had seen some samples of this process and decided to try it out.  Wow.  First of all, the results are much faster than mx dyeing, and I think it's easier to control the image you want to end up with.  

As a little background, in this class we worked by painting the surface of paper with the dyes, letting it dry, them heat setting it onto the fabric.  When we first started painting, I thought, I'm really not going to like this, it's not my thing at all.  Then Holly started pulling wonderful examples out of her bag of tricks, and I was hooked.  This first piece was made by painting several different papers with diluted dye and letting them dry.  Then I tore them up and laid them on top of each other, finally I stitched through the paper with nylon thread.  As you can see from the paper image on the left, the colors on the paper are much duller than what you end up with.  I used a piece of 100% polyester fabric in my sample, pressing it for 1 minute in a clothing press (you can use an iron also) and the sample I ended up with is very 3 dimentional looking.

In this second sample, I painted the paper purple, let it dry, then painted thickened turquoise dye over it and ran a hairbrush through it.  After this dried, same thing, one minute in the steam press. I'll bring out more samples another day, but now I'm trying to figure out how I will use this method in my work.  I can easily see using it on sheers, but I'm not sure about stitching on the polyester, I guess I'll just have to try it.  I think that one sample I made is going to be perfect for the Twelve by 12 challange this time, , but no previews yet.


Gerrie said...

Wow! I love how this looks, but I agree - the synthetic fabric is such a turn off for me.

Karoda said...

i love your results...and i was curious to know what was your heat source...i was in a workshop with Valerie White years ago and learned the technique but using an iron to transfer was a lot of physical work (and hot) in order to get a deep rich transfer.

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

Thank you for sharing this. I've never had any idea of what disperse dyes were and your examples are wonderful.

Linda Miller Designs said...

I love the results...does it work as well with an iron? Are the dyes procion dyes? Would love to learn more.