Experimental Textiles 6. Dyeing with naturals and synthetics.

Really enjoyed this weekend of experimenting with dyes, and of course, celebrating a birthday with yet more cake and a nice meal out.

Synthetic fabrics cannot be dyed with Procion dyes, so transfer dye was painted onto papers in block colour and various designs. The colours turn out very different to how they go on, so most of us had no idea what would happen!

Once dry, we used irons and the very wonderful hot press which enabled all kinds of resists to come out beautifully.



Here is a print with the painted paper on the right:


We then used soldering irons to cut more intricate shapes from the prints. They were ironed onto Bondaweb first. Careful pressure enables you to cut through the fabric and leave the back paper on so little bits can be peeled away and replaced onto other work. This is highly addictive and I’ve come home with an iron to play with over Christmas 🙂 Most of the resists will become something different as they are layered up and stitched.



As for the natural fabrics, they were placed into little piles with various threads ready to dye with Procion in plastic bags. Procion is mixed with soda and salt to fix the dye and reacts for an hour or so. Some were dyed with single colours to compare how fabrics take the dye, but I wanted to mix the colours and create more of the tones I love. The bags were kept for 24 hrs before washing out. We will then piece them for our homework. Just to say…it took three hours by the sink and I now have the muscles of a champion heavyweight, but I’m eagerly awaiting the dried results!

A bad case of piles…


Bags of anticipation…


A part ( yes, part) of the rinsed collection in my kitchen. Can’t wait!


Finally. Having decided that I really hate weaving, I took along a small piece that could be dyed. It had all sorts of fabric and threads in it. Here is its story. From left to right – fresh and wet, damp and blotchy, and rinsed and almost dry. I may even have to tell Kim that I slightly love it a bit and may allow it a bit of stitching…who knew?


Happy faces!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s