Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Experimenting With Decorative Techniques - Dyes

At college, in preparation for making our bags for the fashion marketing side of our project, we've been experimenting with different decorative techniques. We've also done some experimentation with applique and batik, but using the dyes is what I found the most fun, so I thought I'd share my tester pieces with you.

Equipment used: Dye, hot wax, brusho powder.

This piece of experimentation is the one I am most pleased with the outcome of. I really like the colours used, but most of all I love the texture the brusho powder adds to it. I created this by smothering the calico with a thin layer of hot wax, leaving it to dry, and then cracking the dried wax. I then got a paint brush and began to dab fabric dye over the wax-covered calico, trying to get the dye into the cracks of the wax and onto the fabric. After doing this I washed off the wax. Whilst the calico was still wet, I smeared the brusho powder onto it. The brusho got a bit clumped up in some places, but overall I think it created a nice effect.

Equipment used: Lolly-pop sticks, rubber bands and dye.
This was meant to be a tie-dye effect, but as you can see it went a little wrong. At first I folded my fabric tightly around a lolly-pop stick, then snapped the stick in half and then added rubber bands around the calico and sticks. Unfortunately the rubber bands and stick barely effected the fabric at all because I'd done it too tight, so instead I just dipped the calico in blue and purple dyes to create an dip dye or ombre effect.

Equipment used: Rubber bands, marbles, lolly-pop sticks and dye.
I don't know what I was trying to achieve with this one, just messing around with all the different effects you can make really. I wrapped the fabric around the marbles and secured it tightly with an elastic band, this caused the dye to be unable to reach all parts of the fabric, which caused the orange circles to be created. I think it looks quite funky.

Equipment used: Wax and dye.
I wanted to re-create the first one I did with brusho and wax here, but this time I used too much wax and it caused the dye to be unable to seep through. I also made the mistake of putting the wax on wet fabric. It's left a very subtle looking effect on the fabric, which I suppose is okay but it isn't what I was after. It's a learning process!

Equipment used: Wax and dye.
I did the same again but wanted it to look more pastel this time. I used blue and purple dye and I quite like this one, I like how the purple is barely noticeable. I think these colours compliment each other well when used like this.

Equipment used: Wax, Dye and brusho
I like this one quite a bit, the brusho powder is more blended in and gives a less obvious textured effect to the fabric which I think looks very good. I also like how natural the colours look.

thanks for reading this post! I know a lot of these aren't very good, but they're only experiment pieces so I was just playing around with different ways I could do things so I wasn't really thinking about aesthetics all that much. I hope that if I choose to use any of these techniques in my actual work that they turn out more consistently better, that probably won't happen knowing me though!

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