31 October 2010

printed project sunday - guest blogger jackie lams

When I taught my Basic Screen Printing using Thermofax Screens class a couple of weeks ago, a good question came up: can you dye screen printed fabric/projects?

Its not something I've tried yet and when I said I wasn't sure, Jackie immediately piped up and said, "Want me to try it???" (And yes, she was giddy about it. The girl loves a challenge.)

I said sure and asked if she would like to do a guest blog post for Printed Project Sunday. Which brings us to this post.

So without further ado, Jackie answers the question: "Can you overdye screen printing?"

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*Text and photos are courtesy of Jackie.

A few weeks ago at Lynn's Thermofax workshop at the Northville Art House, Lynn mentioned that she had not dye tested the Plaid Simply Screen Paint. Since I have been looking for a good excuse to break out the dye supplies, I promptly volunteered to test out the product for her. I have a large tote bag from Dharma Trading Company that has been waiting for a surface treatment and fabric dye opportunity such as this.

For this test I used Dylon Fabric Dye. It's cheap, quick and easy. There is a decent array of colors to choose from and the supply list is much smaller than supplies for MX Pro dyes. (*Note from Lynn: Dylon dyes come from the UK. You can find them at Joann Fabrics, Michaels and Hobby Lobby. The fixative for these dyes is already included in the packet so all you need to do is add salt to the solution and you are good to go.)

Don't worry, I'll be testing with MX Pro (Procion) dyes very soon. So first step is to screen print the fabric you wish to dye. I used French Roast brown and a lovely Pond Scum metallic green. The screens are from Lynn's Etsy shop. The ones I used are Threadbare and Bubbles. Let the paint dry completely. Here's the bag all printed and before the Dylon bath:

Make sure you heat set your printed fabric thoroughly before you dye it. I ironed the bag's printed surfaces with my iron set on lava hot. Then, just because I am overly cautious sometimes, I put the bag in the dryer on high for ten minutes. Just to make sure everything was set.

Next I gathered up a five gallon bucket (that I use just for dye), a big mixing spoon (also not used for anything but dye), one smaller plastic container to mix the dye, warm water and salt together, and an apron for myself. Then I followed the directions on the package. If you've done Procion dye work before, you will love the short list of steps to follow for Dylon. I submerged the damp bag into the five gallon bucket.

Here it is soaking in a warm, brown bath:

The paint did appear to morph a little while dyeing but it didn't stay that way. So I stirred the bag and moved it around to make sure everything got exposed to the dye. I watched the clock and stirred some more. When time was up, I removed the bag and squeezed some of the excess dye out of it. Then I chucked it into the washing machine and put it through a cold rinse cycle.

I then washed it in a complete cycle with some Synthrapol. I checked the water at the rinse cycle to see how much dye was coming out and found it pretty clean. I allowed the bag to air dry overnight and then finally ironed it out several days later.

It came out pretty good! The paint held up perfectly! I will probably do more surface design on the bag over the winter months but for now, this will do just fine.

Next round I'll heat things up with some MX Pro dye and a mircowave!

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Thanks so much Jackie! The bag looks awesome - hope you all enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did!

Printed Project Sunday highlights artwork that features hand printed fabric or paper. The methods vary from traditional screen printing, deconstructed screen printing, thermofax screen printing, monoprinting, gelatin plate printing - anything you can think of!

They will also include tutorials and various projects featuring thermofax screen printing (I'm an addict, what can I say?)

If you would like to have your work featured on the blog, send an image and explanation of your work to FibraArtysta@earthlink.net
All work, images and text are copyright of the contributing artists and are posted with permission.


Deb H said...

Very nice bag and helpful info. Thanks Ladies, the wheels are turning :o)

pcoxdesign said...

I see so many possibilities! I can't wait to get my screens to play. Thanks Jackie

Jaly Can said...

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