ExTex 6th weekend - colouring fabric - 13th and 14th October

The 6th weekend of my ExTex course experimentaltextiles.com was dedicated to colouring both natural and synthetic fabrics and threads. I think it is important to be able dye your own fabrics if at all possible, it is one thing that can help make your work different. Saturday saw us dyeing natural fabrics in plastic bags with procion dyes. This is such an easy process for smallish amounts of fabric and it is always interesting to see which type of fabric comes out darkest and brightest. We were dyeing cotton, viscose and silk.

Some of the 'stashes'
As Shaun travels up from Plymouth and stays in a hotel Saturday night she wasn't able to take her dyeing home to rinse out like everyone else -so she did it Sunday morning - and for a change it wasn't raining so she could dry them in the sun.  

 Heidi started to layer up some of her dyed fabrics and tried a little hand stitch - very sensitive, quit lovely.

After mixing up the dyes and dyeing the fabrics there isn't much else to do except wait - so we got on with painting up papers with the disperse dyes (transfer dyes/paints) ready to transfer onto synthetic fabrics. It is great fun just letting your students loose to paint anything they like. A bit like play school, lots of fun. The dyes are painted onto a non absorbent paper such as the copy paper we use to go through our printers.

Jo painting up her papers

Emma had great fun trying all sorts of techniques to apply colour - without splashing Sally who sits opposite her!!!!

I will show you the results of the transfer printing in another post tomorrow - there are so many images to show you.


The group are encouraged to do homework and keep up with their folders and scrap books in between sessions as and when they can. They all have busy lives, they work - 3 as teachers, have children, lives etc so I just ask them to catch up when they can. Poor Tracey moved last week so she couldn't even find most of the kit she needed for the weekend let alone do any homework, but she got to the class and produced some fabulous work.

Claire had a chance to get quite lot of home work done last month. several pieces are being worked on over a period of time.

The above pieces are an ongoing project, decorating their earlier prints (from their own blocks) with stitch.

This a favourite piece of mine that Claire printed on the print weekend and is continuing to build up the stitch.

Claire started these felted samples on our last weekend and has started hand stitching into them

Claire's weaving from our last session taken off the cardboard loom - note to self - always make sure your feet are not in the picture!!!!!! At least my nail polish co-ordinates with the weaving . . . 

I will leave it there and show you all the lovely prints they created tomorrow. 



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