Line Print Fabric

Ready to try the base layer for the fine line design; this is to be a crackle effect in pale grey, hopefully with a little silver effect.  The fabric is bamboo silk, about 3m x 140cm.  Getting a cold water dye in silver-grey is unlikely for cellulose  fabric, (maybe available for man-made fibre) but there are several brands of fabric paint which would do the trick.  Ideally I would like to avoid making a resist for such a large piece of cloth but if I must then it would be either wax or a flour-based paste. Experimentation will be needed.

One alternative would be to use Jacquard Acid Dye, this is a hot water dye for cellulose fabric, but this is not suitable for any kind of resist.

One useful source on the internet is ‘All About Hand Dyeing‘ – there are others of course, but this article by Joyce Vance offers a detailed and informative method.  “I have learned that one way to achieve even color distribution across the fabric is by paying careful attention to scrunching it. Starting in one corner, evenly pleat the fabric from your right hand to your left in small increments until you have a small pile of fabric in a roughly circular shape.”  But she is talking about cold-water dye, here.

As I am intending to screen print the fabric after dyeing I don’t want to saturate the fabric with dye, so I am only using one colour rather than the two Joyce recommends.  Having tested the Jacquard Silver-Grey I found it to be rather pale and difficult to control.  My test piece was rather more shibori than ‘scrunched’ but the colour was fainter than I would ideally like, see image.

The result of the hot Jacquard dye was an even silver grey – no crackle at all!  And this was after I tightly scrunched and bound the fabric.

after wax, applying fabric paint

So now I bit the bullet and waxed the whole cloth, then after it was dry scrunched it then rolled fabric paint across the surface (rather than cold-water dye).   This allowed a little more control and I used a pearlescent fabric paint medium combined with matt black.  Next step is to screen print the thick line design.

Bamboo silk after batik crackle