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What I’m Getting Done

Some days it’s not so much, except for a visit to Curves and errands. I finally got my life arranged where I could start doing some printing this week.  I need to print several yards of cloth…how much I’m not so sure.  I guess I’ll know when I get there.  Thursday I got dye paint mixed and then yesterday I got 4 yards printed.  I have 3 weeks before I vend at my next quilt show, so I need to make good use of the time I have between now and then.  After printing the cloth, then there is sewing it up into items for the home.

I call this a VERY improvisational screen printing technique…basically, I just paint circles and drips on the screen and immediately print it.

I made table napkins from the other colorway I previously printed.

There will be matching tablerunners also.

Someone on my blogroll has now turned me on to what a “potato chip” scarf is.  Today has seen me online hunting up a pattern and yarns.  And ordering.  Since I don’t really knit yet, I will crochet it with a big hook.  My nieces may get these cool scarves for Christmas….we’ll see how I get along.  I also got my new printed fabrics ironed.

From the Lion Brand yarn website, the double boa ruffled scarf…

My plan is to do three colorways for Select Collections.  I will print black and white as well as more of the amethyst, curry, and turkey red colors.  That’s all I’m gonna do. Ideas need to percolate too.  It takes about an hour to print two yards of fabric in this manner.  I can’t do it all in one piece as my set up won’t handle it at the moment, so I do one yard at a time.

I now have sets of inks for sale…I have the Mini Stations for painted faces and the Basic colors Mini Station.  Contact me if you’re interested.  These are very nice inks to work with if you like to do detail work. They look wonderful on the cloth I dye on which is a 76 x 74 thread count.  I won’t use Setacolors on this cloth…it just looks better on Pimatex cotton, but these inks paint well on this pfd cotton, which I like about them.  Each mini-station comes with a helpful dvd, and there are tutorials on the internet to help you learn to use them too.

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Now, THAT’S A Paint Rag…

Some of this is acrylic paint, and some of it is dye.  I have just left it to dry and not moved it because I am so enthralled with all the lovely colors! It’s very tropical. I can’t wait to do something with this.

Dye Vs. Paint

I want to talk about paint. I love paint. I first learned about painting cloth from Mickey Lawler’s SkyDyes book. I bought the paint and colors she said to buy. That was Setacolor acrylic paints for textiles. I love them. I have since tried all the Jacquard paints and Golden Fluid Acrylics as well as screenprinting inks. I love to paint on pimatex cotton, a broadcloth with a high thread count. I think the paint looks better on this cloth. I love the ease of using paints. If I want to quickly change the appearance of cloth, I get out my stamps and paints and in a matter of minutes, I have the look I want. Paint dries fairly quickly. But a person can sink a lot of money into paints. The paint is also a surface treatment which does change the hand of the cloth some.

Now let’s talk about dyes. If you are a dyer of cloth, you already have what you need to make your own paint. You can make the paint very inexpensively. You are no longer working with pigments, as with paint, but now you are working with dye powder. There is a process with dye powder. If you are going to paint with dye powder, you first have to mix a chemical water that has a few different things in it. This is to help keep the dye paint wet enough for the batching time that is needed. Then you need to have a thickening agent to make your dye powder solution thick like paint. Since it is dye powder instead of pigment, there is a different consistency to it. If you are going to do layers of design, you will need to let each layer dry a bit, but not completely (remember,to batch, the dye needs to stay a bit damp), before continuing to add the next layer. (You could let each layer batch and dry between layers; this will take forever!) Dyes also love 70+ degree weather to batch in. Dyes do not change the hand of the fabric (this part I love). Oh yeah, one more thing: dye needs soda ash in order to make the chemical reaction. You must either soak the cloth in a soda ash solution, then air dry the cloth (start the day before you want to paint), or add it to your dye paint as you get ready to use it. This can be one long process!

So which is your favorite and why? I am basically thinking out loud here. I welcome anyone’s input if I have overlooked anything and I would like your take on painting with either medium.

soy wax screen design with ink