Sunday, September 23, 2012

Shibori fabric dyeing

I'm having a terrible time with this new blogger interface that I've been warned was going to happen soon and now has.  I've been resistant to the change because I used an offsite (and password protected) storage system up until now.  Now I must revert to using strictly Blogger's way of doing things, which means I have to share all my photos on Picasa.  I'm considering finding another way of blogging, although I will keep the AB lessons here.

Since I've spent so much time trying to straighten out this blog, I'm going to bring back a post I created awhile back.  Unfortunately, I think I spent as much time reworking this post as I would have making an entirely new one!

I'm also having trouble with the photos.  Even though they appeared in the center of the post, when I previewed the page, they were on the left.  I have no idea why, but I had that problem before when I used the "new" blogger a few times.  I decided to enlarge them to their original size, and that made them oversize due to the width of my blog post area.  The two sidebars are the reason I have less room, but that is a moot point.  The point I'm trying to make is, if you want to see the photo in its entirety, you will have to click on the image.

Last week (see Lesson 16 of my AB lessons) I showed how to use Staz-on re-inkers which are solvent based, and 91% Isopropyl Alcohol to dye fabric, as shown above.  I explained if you were using Dye or Distress reinkers, you would use water with your reinkers, and never alcohol.  I thought I would reiterate that with this post in which I use dye ink and water.  Although this was not created for an altered book page, the same technique could be applied using your favorite no-sew iron on adhesive.  There are many brands, but Wonder Under is probably the most popular.

Now on to some shibori dyeing.

I began by placing a 10" X 18" (25.4 cm X 45.72 cm) piece of white cotton fabric (from an old sheet) that I smoothed out and wrapped at an angle to a 2 inch (5.08 cm) PVC pipe.  Smaller pieces of fabric are easier to handle, really large ones can be doubled. Begin by placing your fabric at an angle to the pipe of your choice.

Wrap the fabric at least once around the pipe. At this point, you can add your first string (or as shown in this photo, a rubber band).

As you continue to role your fabric on the PVC pipe, you will want to scrunch it toward one end.

If it's a really large piece, you can scrunch both ends toward the middle by pushing as tight as possible. For the second pipe, I didn't use a rubber band, but tied waxed linen thread around the piece and tied tightly.  You can see how small this piece is relative to the other (below).

Your scrunches don't have to be evenly pleated, but you should wrap waxed linen thread or heavy string around the piece now, beginning on one end, working your way down the piece and back. End on that same end and tie off. Now that the fabric has been wrapped and tied, it's time to add some color.

It's time to finish the tutorial now that the poles have been wrapped. Please note that my coffee mug (on the extreme left) and my art doll Wendy, play no part in this tutorial. Note also the pole closest to the camera is the one with the rubber band and waxed linen thread, and the one furthest is the one with only the waxed linen thread.

Supplies clockwise from top left:

Dye reinkers, colors of your choice
Distilled water in a spray bottle or mister
Cotton fabric wrapped onto 2" (5.08 cm) PVC pipe and tied with waxed linen thread
Cotton fabric scrunched and tied with waxed linen thread or rubber bands and waxed linen thread
Strip of cotton, approximately 3/4" (1.91 cm) wide to be turned into tag ribbon, wrapped with thread
Cotton fabric folded into a triangle and held together with a clothes pin
White thread

The longer fabric is 18" X 24" (45.72 cm X 60.96 cm).  It is also a piece of white cotton fabric (from an old bed sheet) that I smoothed out and wrapped at an angle to the PVC pipe.

I ran dye ink (reinker ink) the length of the fabric on both pieces. I continued adding ink until I felt I had enough color on the pieces, including the one in the foreground with waxed linen wrap that fell apart on me.

When I originally posted this tutorial, several people asked what dye reinker ink is.  There are as many brands as there are dye ink pads.  They are the ink refills that rejuvenate your ink pads when they begins to dry.  I can't tell you all the brands, because I only buy reinkers, never the ink pads and I buy them on clearance because I don't care about anything except the color and how I can use them to color fabric.

One thing you should know is, although some dye inks may be labeled "permanent," do not use them when coloring fabric that will be used for clothing, or that will be used in art flags, or when making resists.  They simply won't hold up to prolonged exposure to water or the elements.

I should add that if you don't want dirty fingernails and dyed hands, you should wear gloves. However, hindsight is always 20/20. Of course, if you are like me, your hands are constantly a different color.

So without further ado, I began spraying the distilled water on the fabric. You do NOT really need distilled water, but it was in the sprayer, so that's what I used. Remember, this fabric started out dry, something you normally wouldn't do when dyeing fabric. But since I used concentrated dye reinkers, I waited until I had the ink in place before adding water. And I like breaking the rules to see what I can come up with, too.

This is the piece that was in a ball that fell apart on my table earlier. You can see I added too much water, then hung it wet, which caused streaks in the fabric due to gravity.

When you have sprayed the pieces to your heart's content, you can stand these up on your work surface. It's always nice to have a bit of extra fabric out to collect the excess drips. Being a frugal person, I wiped up the excess ink using the fabric strip I will use for tag ribbon, as well as the thread, which I am collecting and saving for another project. Now is also a good time to put your supplies away.

When the fabric is dry to the touch, remove your wax thread (and/or rubber bands) and finish drying on a clothes line.

Here are the finished pieces late in the day when dry. The two pieces in the foreground are the ones from the poles and the one in the back is the same one I showed hanging on the clothes line. The colors are no longer as pretty as they were when they were wet.

Here is a close up of the longer piece of fabric from the pole (PVC pipe). Although I love the technique,

and the results (I swear these ridges were made by the process because the fabric is laying quite flat and smooth in this photo), I am not crazy about the finished piece. These new colors, although from the same manufacturer, don't play well together, are not really vibrant when dry, and turned into a bit of a disappointment for me. Of course, that only means I can play at this technique again until I am happy with my color choices.  And remember, any dye based reinker will work. Just be sure to use DYE ink and not pigment based ink reinkers.  Also remember that you must use only alcohol with solvent based reinkers.

I hope this relieves some of the possible confusion I may have caused when I dyed fabric last week, and I hope you will try this technique, too.  After all, I'm sure most of you who are still playing with your ABs have at least one reinker!

27 thoughtful remarks:

Steph said...

THANK YOU!!! Elizabeth for sharing yet another wonderful tutorial....This whole tuts on fabric dyeing is "teasing' me to do it!!! ;)
I thought even if the color is not as bright, there is an advantage to it....I know you can turn it into a thing of exceptional beauty, dear friend....
I wish for sunshine over my end of the world....oh Mr Sun, Sun, Mr Golden sun....pleeease be around this weekend!!! hugs Steph

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I love the top two fabrics! Oh so wonderful!

Diane said...

I really like the end results, Elizabeth, and i LOVE the the one with the bamboo skewer.

Healing Woman said...

Messy but beautiful! I love the blue and green fabric so much that I don't think I'd touch it. The colors are so muted and blend well together.

Thanks so much for showing this technique. I will definitely come back to your blog and give it a try soon.

Anonymous said...

This dyeing is neat, but what are fabric re-inkers? I would love to try this. Are they similar to just normal old liquid fabric dye?

elle said...

Good morning. Wonderful discription of your experiment. I need to find some pipes and pencil in about a week of play time. Thanks for visiting and recommending the Coop. I need to empty a few chairs and check that the saucers match the cups in anticipation of more visitors. blush! Tea for tu... I'd be delighted!

Halle said...

What a cool technique! I can never remember to wear gloves either. I had wood stain on my nails last week.

ooglebloops said...

My question is the same as FlipSyde's - and do you have a source or brand name? Love what you did with it!!!

Terri said...

This is fabulous! Thank you so much for posting such an excellent tutorial.
It looks really fun!

Mary S. Hunt said...

your pieces turned out terrific!!!!

~*~Patty S said...

oooo you got wonderful results ... really super!

Terri Kahrs said...

I think the results are awesome, Elizabeth! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Love the results of the shibori dyeing, and the one you used the bamboo skewer on. I must have a go at the shibori technique. I've been dyeing t-shirts, one of which I dyed some time ago but didn't like the colour but now I've re-done it, it's fine. Also a t-shirt that had a small stain on ;-)
Anne xx

Kateyed said...

What a great tutorial, Elizabeth. I have always wondered how to do shibori. I am kind of a nut about dying...I hope when I am in the retirement village, they have a big room I can make messes in! (I'm really only sixty-yikes!).

Thanks so much for stopping at our blog and for making such nice comments. I love to make jewelry but I am so casual that I rarely wear it! Don't tell! Did you sign up as a follower? We have a giveaway when we hit 100 and we are at 96. I am going to make a "surprise box" for the winner.


Dianne said...

these turned out really great! you are way more ambitious with these types of projects than I...I just throw paint on it and hope for the best. The fabrics turned out marvelous! Really enjoyed Elle's blog too.

Lynn Cohen said...

this looks like great fun and what wonderful results you got!!!!!!!!!!!! BRAVO!!!

Cindy McMath said...

These are all great Elizabeth - thanks for spending so much time putting your wonderful tutorials together. My favourite is the one that hung up and ran. :)

Cindy :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Elizabeth, this seems like making dying process a snap. Your tutorials are aleays so pack with info, thanks so much. Hope your blogger issues resolve, you are not alone, I've been hearing it alot lately. xox

Marilyn J. Rock said...

You are fearless; I love that! You share so much, with us, and I love this dying process result! Thinking of you.....Marilyn xxoo

Margaret said...

very cool tutorial thank you, your results are fab, such great colours! Mx

Anonymous said...

Now I am glad Ibought those reinkers when you suggested it ahwle back. thanks for all your tutorals.

XX Rachel XX

gina said...

Oh, what fun, Elizabeth! It reminds of when I did lots of tie dying in the 70s. I like how your fabric came out!

Mixed Media Artist said...

Just dropped by to say hi to you and Bleubeard.

Currie Silver said...

WonderFULL!! You are utterly amazing!!! Thanks!!

ButtonMad said...

Hi Bleubeard and Elizabeth

Your tutorial was chosen as one for our buttons exchange. I have no other way of contacting you and haven't heard back from you.

Please email me your postal details as the buttons are being sent out today.

Many thanks
Tamara and the ButtonMad Team

Darla said...

Wonderful way to get some colorful fabric. I always enjoy finding out how something is done.


Carolyn Dube said...

So sorry to hear about your computer challenges-I get so frustrated when I spend more time doing things like that instead of what I love doing- the art! I love the one with the streaks the most- but I love drips and smears and smudges so much...what does that say about me...