Monday, July 26, 2010

Resist paint: dyeing for flour

This is a surface design technique for fabric that is cheap to make, but time consuming. When finished, you will have fabric that can be dyed using reinkers or color mists. It is done in three stages. We will begin with the first stage, which I started yesterday morning. Please be aware, this is a very long post.

Supplies clockwise from left top:
Measuring cup
Extra fabric
Marking tools
Low tack masking tape
Small plastic cup
Bamboo skewer
Spoon for mixing ingredients
Plastic container
Fabric taped one edge only to plastic bag or other water resistant surface.

Right after my debacle with the non-flour, I was telling my neighbor Sally about it. She said she had some old flour I could have, so Sunday morning I headed to her place and picked it up. Before I did anything, I marked the container to read "Flour for crafts." No mistaking this container.

I began (as before) with equal parts flour and water.

Be sure to get out all the lumps.

When completely mixed, run a bead of the mixture along the taped edge of your fabric.

Beginning on one side, pull the flour/water mixture, which I will now refer to as the resist, down using a squeegee.

Continue this all the way to the other end.

If you run out of resist, simply apply more wherever it is needed on the fabric. You may need to make more resist as you work.

Here is the piece after I have added the resist, but before I have added any design.

Use your favorite marking tool and run it through the resist. Wipe your tool after each swipe.

Use a small plastic cup to add circles (if desired).

Add marks, squiggles, swirls, or circles until you are happy with your design. Any place that still has flour will resist the paint.

Remove the piece to a safe place for drying.

Repeat with your next piece of fabric. You can see that by not taking a photo half way through the pour process, I got better coverage, although I'm not sure how critical it is.

Try to use all your resist mixture because it simply won't last. I used about 3 1/2 cups (3.31 metric cups) of flour for these pieces. And in the summer heat, it's even more vulnerable. I ran out of large plastic bags to tape my fabric to, or I would have continued all afternoon.

I even tried removing one from the plastic bag, but it doesn't work because the wet gooey fabric flips over onto itself and erases all your design efforts.

When you have completed this step, it's time to clean up. The only repeat supply you will need for the next part of this tutorial is your pitcher of water. You should clean all tools and remove the flour from them. Use a large pail of water to do this. While you are waiting for the fabric to dry, put all tools and supplies away. Then, dispose of any excess flour/water mixture and the water you washed your tools in outside. Don't pour them down the drain, not even your toilet drain.

Allow the fabric and resist to dry completely. This will take anywhere from several hours to overnight. I checked after two hours and they weren't dry, so I allowed four hours for total drying.

You can set up the supplies for the second phase of this at any time. However, you will need to wait until the resist on your fabric is completely dry.

Supplies clockwise from left top:
Cheap chip brush or bristle brush (not foam)
Cheap acrylic paint (Do not use dyes or inks)
Fabric paint
Cups, one for each color
Dry fabric from first stage

You should be able to tell when your fabric is dry, because the surface design will change color. Once completely dry, you can leave it like it is, or scrunch it into a ball, which will add cracks for added interest, then straighten it back out.

Mix approximately equal parts paint and water in a cup.

Scrub the paint into the fabric. You have to get the paint in the depressions left from the marks in the resist.

Mix fabric paint with acrylic craft paint, or use whatever paint you have. Use only paint, no ink. Ink will dilute during the next stage, and your efforts will be in vain.

Once again, lay your fabric out to dry. This could take a few hours or overnight. I allowed two hours for the paint to dry. The drying time was less than the previous stage, but it still took a long time.

I placed mine on the hot concrete and that helped them dry faster than in the grass.

While waiting, clean your brush(es), put your paint away, dispose of your mixing cups, and clean up your work area again. This time you can put all your supplies away, including your water pitcher.

While waiting, fill a large bucket with water for stage three. This is the only supply you will need.

Before going to the next stage, test your fabric to see if it is completely dry. This one wasn't, but

this one was.

Even the back is interesting and by looking on the back, you can tell where you missed the resist, or where the paint seeped through.

Place the fabric in the bucket of water and

submerge. Allow to sit in the bucket for about thirty minutes, then remove and scrub off the remains of the resist. Let me assure you that no matter how much of that resist you think you have out of the fabric, there will be some left.

Here is the piece after it was washed. It's not as pretty in this photo

but it is quite lovely up close.

I allowed the rest of the fabric to dry in the late afternoon sun, got new water in the bucket, and went inside to eat a bite.

The next thing I knew, it was raining. Not a heavy downpour, but that muggy, steamy drizzle type rain that stifles everything. I put the remaining pieces of fabric in the pail and went back inside. I will check on them today, because it took forever to get the photos off my camera and this written up. I had hoped to have this posted sooner for all my friends who live in earlier time zones, but that didn't happen. And although I haven't finished the process, be sure to dispose of your water OUTSIDE.

Lessons learned:
1. The bamboo skewer was the most effective tool for this project. The other spreaders permitted too much paint to seep under the resist.
2. You must scrub the paint into the fabric, or it will only sit on the surface and simply not work.
3. Dark colors work best.
4. You will need at least a day, possibly two for this technique.

Today's blog is one I found during One World One Heart. Sandi at Sharing My Daze is a scrapbooker, but also an altered artist who is participating in the Compendium of Curiosities challenge. She makes tags, twinchies, pennants, decorates coasters, and much more, using more products by Tim Holtz and Claudine Hellmuth than I think are at Mrs. O'Leary's (see Friday's post). I am sure her "scrap cave" as she calls it, is filled to the brim with enviable tools, products, and paper that any crafter would love to play with. To top it all off, she has taken on an exchange student this year. I'm not sure where she lives, but I think it's in the US. If you like Tim Holtz type of art, be sure to check out Sandi's blog today.

14 thoughtful remarks:

Healing Woman said...

WHAT A FABULOUS TUTORIAL! I definitely plan to try my luck with this one. It seems like the design possibilities are endless as well as color schemes. You are right, it is messy. Children would probably love working on this technique! Thanks so much for sharing this one.

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

Oh what a great technique and so inexpensive to do- thanks as always for sharing each step along with your insights!

Halle said...

This looks like a very interesting technique! Can't wait to see the other pieces.

Mar said...

very interesting and informative tutorial!!!
infinite results!

Karen said...

I remember doing this during a fabric painting class Elizabeth...its very messy but messy is fun!!! Have you tried painting shapes or patterns with the flour mixture instead of covering the sheet? You can get a lovely batiq effect XXX

Terri Kahrs said...

No one does a tut quite like you, Elizabeth. I'm in awe of your documentation skills! Glad this came with the warning to NOT rinse things in the sink or toilets!!! Beautiful results!!! Hugs, Terri xoxox

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I've had a job posting on my blog today, the text kept aligning itself in the centre and photos where placing themselves where they wanted to be!
Great post, thanks for the tutorial. The fabric does look lovely close up :-)
Anne xx

Melinda Cornish said...

this looks like fun! Maybe I should put some kids too work on a little project...heehee

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

WOWEE you really had me locked in for this tutorial Elizabeth ... well I skimmed over the "put it away" parts ... kidding!!!
I can see this being lots and lots of fun ... wish I didn't have to sleep at night ;)
Thanks as always for being so thorough and generous with your time and talents. Lots of us know what it takes to put a good bbb post together ... with words and photos!
I am going to keep tidying up around ... even tho I'm itching to create something!
Happy Moonday!

just me said...

we did something similiar to this with our kids on tshirts. we used squirt bottles-bought cheap at sally's beauty supply, put cardboard in between the layers of tshirts and let the kids draw whatever designs they wanted. let dry and let it dry! then we mixed water, paint, and some textile medium in spray bottles-dollar store-and let the kids spray away. then let dry again. one of the funnest parts for the kids was picking off all the flour mixture. very fun! i think we might have to try this again but i might do some on fabric like you did

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Me again! Digestive biscuits - cookies to you but there's a pic here;boardseen 5th post down.
I kept trying to align the text left, sometimes it worked sometimes it didn't I don't know whether it was when I tried placing some pics left, right or centre. Usually you can just drag them to where you want and sometimes it workded today sometimes it didn't :-/ When I couldn't align it I went into Edit HTML and had to delete some code but there's so much HTML code in that mode it's difficult to know what to delete. I'd just delete a couple of lines just above a piece of text that was ok.
As for being popular, sadly that's only in cyberspace IRL I'm Billy-no-mates :-(
Anne xx

Diane said...

This is great, Elizabeth (and it worked, because you used flour this time:) It's worth the time to get such a very cool result--thank you for taking the time to share this--I know how long this can take to put this up on your blog.

steph said...

wow, Elizabeth, I can't wait to try this out. THANK YOU for sharing this technique!!! The fabrics look beautiful!!! my head is swimming right now with ideas.....aarrgh but it's 8.48pm....can't wait for Mr Sun to be out.....
hugs steph

elle said...

This is extrememly helpful, Elizabeth. I'm going to plan on doing this. Thanks