January 16, 2012
Leave it to artists to turn mundane items like laundry products into fabric art materials. Artists look at used dryer sheets and wonder, “Could I stitch through this?” They peel lint from the lint screen and think, “Free batting.” They splash bleach on their favorite black t-shirt and say, “What a cool design!”
|Some of the fabric art Judy Coates Perez
created through discharge dyeing.
From “QATV” Series 900.
Color catchers, thread trash, bleach pens—they're all fodder for the lover of fabric art. And when a new product comes along, they are quick to capitalize on it.
Fiber artist Judy Coates Perez, best known for her hand-painted wholecloth quilts, has experimented with Rit dyes in the past, and recently discovered that brand's Color Remover product can be used for surface design.
Marketed as a laundry aid, Color Remover is a powder that is mixed with water and heated to a boiling point to activate the discharge or color removal process. Judy has been using the product to create designs on dark cloth. Previously, this “discharge dyeing” has been accomplished with bleach or a relatively new product called deColourant.
Before trying this process, Judy notes, it's a good idea to test fabrics for their abilities to discharge, because many dye colors discharge differently.
|Discharge dyeing using
Rit Color Remover.
“Some colors lighten very fast going all the way to white, while others may only become a lighter tint. Many blue dyes will not discharge at all. I have had really interesting results using some over-dyed dark ‘ugly’ fabrics that discharged to bright colors due to some pigments being easily removed, while others were resistant,” she says.
“Many commercial fabrics will do some surprising things. For instance, I bought three different black fabrics; one discharged to gold, another to warm gray, and another to sage green.”
Here are the basic steps. Once you feel comfortable with the process, you can experiment with fabric folding and binding techniques (like tie-dye) to achieve different effects.
1. Place your fabric in the heat-safe tray.
2. Boil water in a kettle or container for easy pouring.
3. Pour boiling water over your fabric, using just enough to saturate the fabric.
4. Wearing gloves, sprinkle Rit powder over your fabric in the areas you want to lighten and remove color.
|Pokey Bolton (left) and
Judy Coates Perez on
the set of “QATV.”
Instructions for Flower Pounding in July. Anna will be sharing some of the things She has played with and explored about flower pounding. When you come in July bring light colored fabric pieces and flowers. Bring a hammer and a piece of plywood to pound on. IT IS GOING TO BE FUN. YEH