A while back I had made some mono prints, some turned out pretty nice while others were questionable. Here is a rather simple yellow one that I had done. I used bright yellow dye powder right out of the jar without amending the color in any way. It was mixed with thickener, which helps to keep the dye product in place. You can use any household object to make your design with or just your fingers if you wish – kind of like finger painting. I used a round lid and manipulated it to obtain the pattern you see here.
When dyeing items with long fringe – you should know one thing. I think I will just show you rather than try to describe it! Fortunately I have been able to untangle this with little difficulty – however one must be patient and wait for it to dry. Then be patient some more so that you can untangle it – a time-consuming effort. It is much more difficult to unravel this when wet. I would venture to say though that it would have been smarter to have prevented this prior to dyeing. I’m quite sure that there is a way and I will find out what it is!
Hints: To begin with DON’T get tangled up in the first place. Secondly: wait until dry. Third: start to untangle from the bottom of the fringe up. Then gently pull EACH strand – if you meet resistance go to another strand. They will untangle with a bit of time and patience.
So take this as friendly advice – think about the fringe when dyeing- don’t stir the pot too much! lol
Utilized here is simply an onion about four inches high, sliced in half and dipped into fabric paint. The piece is narrow and long. The onion design covers the entire piece. The fabric was originally dyed in boiling water with the onion skin thrown in – giving it a warm back ground and onion scent which has largely diminished. Dried in the dryer and ironed with a hot iron to set the color, I then began to stamp the design. When it was dry I over stamped some of the “onions” with a gold fiber paint, just to enhance the a bit. After wards I sat a wrote all over the entire piece by hand “Some onions don’t make you cry”, in English, French and Italian. This is a set of three, one in each language.Each piece was then stitched to a stabilizer and backed. There is copper beading here and there on each piece as well. The edges are satin stitched all around.
This is a wall hanging that has been dyed a deep true red. Then circles were drawn and stitched. The circles were covered with plastic wrap and tightly wrapped at the base with twine, then over dyed several times in indigo to achieve a saturated color. The bottom of the piece is made using a water soluble stabilizer and stitched incorporating some velvet circles to continue the pattern. I used a combination of threads to obtain the color of the portion above it.
This is a raw silk covered pillow dyed a springy chartreuse green accented with bulky variegated wool. I needle punched the wool in place just enough to see the fibers come out on the reverse side. Then I hand stitched some gold embroidery floss in a braided fashion to secure it even further. I did not want detract from the colors of the wool and am pleased that the embroidery floss has accented and given another texture to the look. The raw silk also know as silk noil is a very flexible nubby textured silk. Silk takes so well to dye sometimes with surprising results. The result here was exactly what I was looking for – so there was no surprise.
Browsing around in Boston during a craft show last year this small table covering was peeking out from an array of other cloth items. So I just had to investigate further. Originally I thought that I would throw it in a dye bath, but when I opened it up I knew that I would never dye this beautiful piece and it has remained in the same condition that I purchased it. I was told that it is Irish linen. It is very nice. The embroidery is perfect. There are a couple of faint tea stains on it but nothing that detracts from the workmanship or beauty of this piece. So it now resides at my house.
Linen is fabric made from the flax plant. The fabric is highly absorbent and lint free, by that I mean there are no stray fibers like you would find on other fabrics, so linen is favored for kitchen towels or tea towels. It is stronger when wet.
Linen is one of the oldest fibers known to have been used for clothing, bedding. The Egyptians used it to wrap their dead in it during mummification. It has also been used during war-time to cover portions of airplanes.
If you want to know a bit more about the history of linen take a look at these web sites –
Remember those old spools of thread? You know the ones that were wound around wooden spools? Well here is a little collection of them. You can see the paper labels – imagine paying 25 cents for a small spool and 35 cents for a big spool of thread. Not today! Of course everything is relative.
Notice the sheen in the yellow and turquoise threads. Some of them are polyester, mercerized and boil fast.
Today thread spools are usually plastic and cost much more than 25 or 35 cents each. There is a wide variety of threads available today that were not in decades past.