I’m not quite sure where the last two days went – it seems like I should have accomplished more, considering how hard I’ve been working! Â But I have set up, labeled, and dyed my samples for discharge tests, covering 22 dyes: ten colors of Cibacron F (the eight “pure” colors plus two mixes) and twelve colors of Procion MX dyes. Â I haven’t touched the acid dyes on silk yet, and if I do them, it will be a totally separate process. Â I do intend to get there eventually.
Anyway, I have done nine swatches of each color, for a total of 198 swatches. Â Each swatch is roughly 5×7, and is labeled with the name of the color. Â I plan to use eight of the swatches for each color (the ninth is an extra), covering:
- no discharge
- Immersion discharge in Thiox solution
- Immersion discharge in Thiox with shibori (to see how the edges come out when the fabric is tied beforehand)
- Immersion with bleach
- Immersion with bleach and shibori
- Jacquard discharge paste (a rectangle to show the solid results, and a detailed image to show how that looks)
- Thiox discharge paste (ditto)
- Bleach gel – liquid dishwasher detergent with bleach (ditto)
This will show me how the color discharges in just about any method I might use.
Here is a finished sample (this one came out a little uneven since I mistakenly soaked it in soda ash before putting it into the dyebath):
Here is my giant bucket o’ samples, which I will iron and put neatly into order this morning:
A word about the labels. Â (I am very proud of my labels!) Â I needed to be able to label the fabrics before dyeing, with a label that would survive dyeing and discharge both. Â This meant that paper labels were right out, along with anything printed with inkjet or permanent marker (which might not survive the discharge bath). Â So how to do the labels?
Thermofax to the rescue! Â I typed up my labels in neat order, printed them out, and ran them through the Thermofax to make a screen. Â I then screen printed in black ink on white polyester fabric (which does not take fiber-reactive dyes) to produce sheets of painted labels in white polyester:
I then ironed the polyester labels to sheets of Heat’N’Bond, cut out the labels, and ironed them onto to each swatch individually. Â Now my swatches are permanently labeled! Â (The one thing that may not work is a boiling-water bath, which will probably re-melt the glue. Â So for the Thiox discharge bath, I may have to just dip the top part of the swatch in.)
Hmm. Â 198 swatches = 198 labels, each individually cut and ironed on. Â Not to mention twenty-two dyebaths afterwards! Â I think I understand now why this took so long!
I will now have to do another set of labels, this time to cover the various processes and materials I intend to use. Â This will also be incredibly laborious, but I don’t see a better alternative. Â So I better quit whining and get back to work. Â 🙂
Today I plan to work on quilting, though. Â I’m a bit behind in my piecing, and the new lesson – with more squares to make – just opened, so I need to play catch-up. Â I also have a metal clay class this afternoon, on carving stamps to make textures in metal clay. Â I figure it will double nicely as a lesson in carving stamps generally, which interests me because stamping is one of the surface design techniques I intend to sample. Â And I am interested in metal clay, too.
Off to cut up some quilt pieces! Â (And iron a Big Bucket o’ Samples!)