Thursday, 29 January 2015


About 18 months ago, I saw a simple white lace dress, which I thought would look rather nice in another colour, so I bought the dress and decided to dye it.....well I already had the dyes, what could go wrong? I had planned on something pale and summery but the acid dyes I used just didn't work on the dress.  As the dress was no longer white but wasn't really any other colour either, I decided that I would have to go bold and go for a deep colour to cover it all up.

The dress turned a dreary colour and certainly not something I would wear, so when I saw this iDye Poly for sale,  I thought that I'd give dyeing the dress one last go.

In a pan I keep for such occasions, I  bought my dress up to a simmer and added the dye.

And it worked! It came out a really deep colour, even if it did leave the dress with a chemically smell, which has reduced but still lingers after 2 washes.

I can safely say that this dye .even dyes your marigolds, any cloth you use, your sink and even your kettle. The kettle was on the other side of the hob to the side I was working but even so stray dye particles managed to reach the kettle and only some of them have come off. It's only in writing this post, that I noticed that the packaging states you don't need to open the packet of dye you can add the packet to the water. If only I'd seen that earlier, that would have saved my kettle.

You live and learn as they say and the most import thing I have learnt from this is that if you don't like the colour of the garment then don't buy it!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Puzzle of the Barge in the Mist

When my Mum said she would like a jigsaw for her birthday, I started to think about what type of picture to get. Perhaps it would be nice to have one of a local scene or somewhere where she had enjoyed a holiday? I was overwhelmed by the choice available online and so I decided to make it very personal and have one of my textile pieces made into a jigsaw.

All my most recent work was going to make challenging jigsaws but as I know she liked the Barge in the Mist piece I opted for this one.  I think this is going to be very difficult to do and so spared her the 1000 piece version! I hope she's still speaking to me after this!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Writing on Fabric With Cola Pens

Happy New year! My textile year kicked off properly today when I finally got to add some text to my piece using cola pens. Not that you can read it as text but I am using it as a method of adding...well texture.

I am working on the fabric I showed in this post, so there are already variances in the colour of the cloth.

The two images above show the dye still wet and the one below with it dried but not washed. 

I do have a rough plan of how I will use the text but I will need to be build it up with lots of layers of over printing.

I also did some trials on fabric and tested out the 'no flow' product, which aims to reduce dye bleeding on fabric.

I did a number of tests, using both liquid dye (thin) and thickened dye. This piece of linen has been coated with the no-flow product prior to writing on the fabric.

This piece was untreated and you can see that the text made with the  liquid dye is 'lost', but there is little difference with the thickened dye paste.

I would consider using this product again but fortunately the thickened dyes work without it otherwise it could become quite expensive on the size of work I make and the number of layers I usually include.

You may be wondering why I bother writing text if you cannot read it but I have found it much easier to keep repeating a short phrase than trying to create random marks, that inevitably don't look very random when I do them. 

Trying and testing this new method of working has got my creative juices flowing again and I'm looking forward to breathing new life into a piece of work that I had put aside.  I need to go and think about the next layer of text now.