|Dye Painted Cotton|
This dye painting process involved a slightly new technique and I am pleased with the results. The piece was started on damp soda soaked cotton. Soda ash is the activator for the dye allowing it to adhere to the fabric.
Using fibre reactive dyes that were mixed into dye concentrates, I painted the orange and green stems and leaves. Next I sketched in the white stems and leaves with a light pencil and painted the background around them in a medium blue. The piece was placed in plastic and cured in a warm place overnight.
The dark blue foliage was then painted and again cured. For the final step, the next day I hung the piece to dry before starting as I didn't wanted the fine black line to bleed. I mixed a few grains of soda ash in the bottle of thickened black dye and placed on a nib for drawing. I did this as I didn't know if there would be enough soda ash left in the cloth to activated the final layer of black dye. The cotton was cured for the third time and then was washed in a Dharma Textile detergent and ironed dry.
Painting with liquid dye takes some practice as it spreads a certain amount when placed on the cloth. Also there can be some separation of mixed colours called haloing. Note the turquoise bled into the white. I must say I rather like the results.