Painting with the leftover Procion Dye…

I still have Procion dye solution left (the Navy Blue & Bordeau), so I think I’ll try “painting” it onto prepared cotton muslin to see if I can get the sky effect I’m looking for.

So I prepared the 100% cotton muslin fabric by soaking it in the leftover soda ash solution (leftover from last week) for about 30 minutes.  Wearing gloves (as always) I squeezed as much solution out as I could, then hung them in the basement to dry.

The next day I took a flat large piece of Styrofoam (found it in the box my lamp came in), and pinned a piece of the half-yard fabric so it was taught.

I mixed 1 part leftover dye solution with 1 part water in a small container, and also had a container of clear water.


First I whetted the material down a bit with the clear water, then added the more concentrated dye, going back and forth until I got the colors I thought looked sky-like.


Next I added a bit of the Bordeaux dye solution with a small brush–just a touch–to make a sunset effect.  I put some plastic over the wet material, unpinned and folded it into a gallon-size plastic bag to cure.


With the second piece of prepared half-yard fabric pinned to wiped down Styrofoam board, I tried “gradation” by using plain water at the top and adding more and more of the concentrated dye solution, brushing to mix it together.


Again, I put plastic wrap over the wet fabric, folded it, and placed it in a gallon plastic baggie to cure.

Now I’ll have to wait for 24 hours or more to unveil the final product.

HINT I read a great hint from Ann Johston’s book “Dye Painting”.  She says to tell what color you’ll end up with (and how concentrated to mix the dyes) simply put a drop of the dye solution on a plain white piece of paper and rub it off with a paper towel.  That’s the approximate color you’ll end up with after the fabric has cured, been rinsed, washed, & dried. 

I’ll have to give that hint a try next time!  Great tip.

It’s been over 24 hours–here are the results…

First the painted cotton fabric with a touch of Bordeaux

First the painted cotton fabric with a touch of Bordeaux

The "gradation" blues from most concentrated dye (darkest) to almost all water (lightest).

The “gradation” blues from most concentrated dye (darkest) to almost all water (lightest).

I’ve decided to use a portion of the second fabric “gradation” blues for my next project.

I’m really enjoying dying fabrics, but I’ve run out of muslin.  So I’ve gone to Dharma Trading Co’s website to order some sample swatches of various cotton fabrics so I can buy some more for my experimentation.

To be continued…












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