Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Keeping the Fire Burning

My work continues on the Project Spectrum Fire Challenge…and it has been challenging!
My end goal is to create a garment using two hand dyed pieces of coordinating fabric. One for the outside of the garment and a lining fabric. I’m using light weight cotton fabrics. I have in mind a darker piece for the outside and a lighter for the interior I’d like it to sort of glow from the inside like banked coals. To create my fabrics I decided to try a 2 step Itajime process
For the lining I used a bleached cotton fabric, prescoured and dried.
Step 1: folded it in a straight square stack and dyed it (using activated dyes on dry fabric) to create a stripe in pink and golden orange, then I washed it out.
Step 2: I refolded it using a triangular fold and dyed it (using activated dyes on dry fabric) using a mid range orange and a red to create a medallion like repeat pattern.
This part went pretty much as I expected it to and is reasonably successful.
The outer fabric was a different story
For the outer fabric I used an unbleached cotton muslin
I started the same way but dyed it in darker colors. The muslin resisted dyeing properly, in fact it proved to be rather water resistant in spite of the prescouring. In the first dye bath I actually opened the layers to manually expose them to the dye (usually with Itajime I let the colors leach into the fabric under their own steam). My hope was exposure to the dyes and washing process would make the fiber more receptive to the next dye bath… this was not to be the case. I washed, dried and refolded the fabric in a triangular fold and it went into the second dye bath which it resisted mightily! So I did it again however on the third try I left the fabric damp (wetting out fabric can really help with this sort of problem), the water carried the dye into the fiber much better on the third try and I got something a lot closer to what I had envisioned.
Now I’m ready to start cutting out my pattern!


Dancing Monkey Jewelry said...

That is so much work. It looks fantastic though. I love the color combination.

alsokaizen said...

Thanks dancing monkey (love the name!)
It was more work than originally envisioned because of the difficulties I ran into with the one fabric. I think that if one chooses to make things by hand one quickly develops an immunity to being discouraged by the amount of work involved or else one stops doing it :)