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Illumination! Colored Discharge Printing with vat dyes and Formosul

2014-07-01 18.15.08
The nice weather has allowed some outside discharge work. I pulled some existing fabrics out of the van to work with; I think they have been improved. All three pieces utilized screens made with house paint.
First is a piece of muslin that was dyed with turquoise, fuchsia and I think, navy, then stenciled with fabric paints. I used a screen painted on the lightest weight (25 gm) Lutradur. The design is inspired by “Big Iris, by Philip Taaffe, 1985”. If you look at the picture enlarged, you’ll see the random non-woven fibrous structure of the Lutradur.
2014-07-01 18.13.24Second is a piece of snow- dyed fabric that I printed with a screen created with bubble wrap.  Easier and more predictable than printing with the wrap itself, as well as tidier.
Third is a piece of Radiance cotton-silk sateen, dyed blue with acid dyes. The first picture shows2014-07-01 18.14.31 a major learning experience. Just above and to the left of center is a dark slit that shows how silk isn’t happy with prolonged periods of high pH and high temperature, especially when followed by a normal cycle machine wash. When I do this again with silk, I will only process the fabric one time!! This one had two cycles through the pressure cooker. The last picture shows a larger view of the fabric. The blue-violet areas were screened while the black circles were directly applied. Because of the density of the circles, you can see the halo really well.
2014-07-01 18.14.56The directions from Pro Chemical that I followed are found here. They advise that it is an intermediate to advanced technique. For a simpler approximation, try deColourant. I cleaned a screen with water squeegeed through onto a floor mop-up towel. It discharged by just hanging in the sun, the way deColourant does.
As always, thanks for looking. These fabrics will be on the website soon!

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More Discharge


Here are a few more discharged fabrics that I have produced lately. I think they look different than the other ones I’ve posted recently. The first one is a 44” square of broadcloth dyed a fairly dark blue-green. It was then accordion-folded in two directions and clamped between 4 CDs. Then it was discharged in Thiox and overdyed with yellow and red.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The second piece started out as a  grey-green color. Then it was bound in the ‘onion bag on steroids’ and discharged, then overdyed with brown. The patterning from the netting isn’t as strong as some other, but it  does evoke stone very will.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The last piece is a square of sateen that was also dyed a dark blue-green. It was folded in an arc shape from one corner, clamped and discharged. No overdye on this one – it works as it stands. Thanks for looking!

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Can’t let this one go

Well, spent a lot of time yesterday doing discharge. That’s in the washer right now, but I wanted to post a picture of this fabric. It turned out really neat, and I’d like to do more with it. I could make a whole-cloth wall hanging out of it and it would be just cloth and stitching. Or I could add more layers of complexity in surface design, or add appliqué  – circles, probably. But I did hang it and placed some circles that are already made on it, and didn’t like it. So I’m posting this here, and sending a message to the Quilting Art and ComplexCloth folks. FYI – this started out as a dark purple mixed from Turquoise & Fuchsia, and was discharged in bleach (I’m pretty sure.)

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More discharge – on bamboo rayon

These fabrics came out a lot nicer than the Kona. Part of that is because the fabric is thinner, and part is because I like the more organic nature of the patterning on at least two of them. The third, while more geometric, is a whole-cloth piece that hangs together well, IMHO. All three were discharged in Thiox, which leaves a nice pale color behind; the first piece, which measures 28” x 60”, was pole-wrapped and overdyed.

The second was done with what I call ‘onion bag on steroids’ followed by purple overdye and the third was folded, discharged and dyed a coral color on two edges; green on the other two. Sorry to sound vain, but I’m pleased with all of these! Thanks for looking.

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Discharge on black Kona

Have gotten some more discharge done. Here are some pictures of some ho-hum items, compared with some of the others at least. Each of these were done on Robert Kaufman’s Kona cotton, purchased black. (Click on the link at right to shop DippyDyes.)

Follow-up: a couple people have had questions: these were all dyed in an immersion bath of Clorox diluted with an equal amount of water. The amount of clamping and the amount of fabric exposed to the bleach makes all the difference.

P5130055 P5130057 P5130066

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Classes on website

Finally! I have scheduled classes in dyeing, discharge and appliqué and posted them on my website. Appliqué is a monthly evening class held on the second Monday of the month.P6140095 Well, this isn’t the usual picture of a quilt in progress, but I couldn’t resist. The quilt is done now, and the dog is gone, but he always makes us smile. The blocks are from Jane Townswick’s Artful Appliqué II book, which students can work from if they choose.

The dye class is an introduction for folks who haven’t dyed before and the discharge class won’t teach dyeing, but for people who plan to discharge only commercial fabrics, the dyeing step is not absolutely necessary. They are being held the first and second Saturday of June, and class size is limited to 4 people. Classes will be held outside; in the event of rain we will be in the basement or the garage. Here’s a link for a little more information.

That’s it for now; back to putting products on the website. Thanks for looking!

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Lancaster show aftermath

Last weekend was my first big show as a vendor. I thought I’d post a picture of the booth taken before the show opened, and some pictures of discharged pieces that sold.

This is the booth, complete with the ‘Casbah’ look. The floor is actually the ballroom carpet, but it adds to the look, I think.
The remaining pictures are of fabrics that underwent various resists, then were discharged and overdyed. From top to bottom, they are Kaufman’s Radiance,
a Moda batik,
Kaufman’s Panda

and Sateen,
and a white broadcloth that was dyed several times before discharging the final dark purple.

The studio is at present a disaster; not wasting any pictures on that! And I have three weeks before the next show to restock. Gonna get DH to do some tyeing and ironing, I think. Thanks for visiting!

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Updated the blog

If you’ve visited before, you might notice a new look. I also added labels to everything, and was a bit surprised to note that the category ‘Discharge’ had the most entries, by 10 to 4. And I enjoyed looking back at my earlier work. It’s supposed to be in the 50s tomorrow, Thursday, so I’m planning to fire up the hot plate outside & do more discharge. Tonight I must get more stitching & tying done in preparation. And it’s time to mix up some new dye stocks, or else work on taxes. Hmmm – which will be better? Maybe my reward for getting taxes done will be to start dyeing again. Oh, if I had such self-control!
Time to mess with the black fabric.

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Another discharged piece

Hi – not lots of time, just wanted to post this picture. It’s black radiance fabric with some shibori binding & capping, discharged in Thiox and overdyed. The cotton side is on the left, silk is on the right. Thanks to Carol Soderlund for getting me to this point!