Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fabrics for Valentine's Day

With my duo of romantically inclined stamp sets on sale for Valentine's Day, I have been doing some experiments, using stamps with red fabric dye, color magnet, red fabric paint, and deColourant. Both the Color Magnet and deColourant are fairly new, gel-like, products for use in fabric arts.

This little swatch was created using my "Kitchen Window" stamp set which was inspired by spongeware pottery. I thought a bouquet of roses would be appropriate for the holiday! The rose was stamped using the Color Magnet, which attracts more color in the dye bath. Then, after dying and drying, I used the deColourant to remove color. I love the texture that stamping with the dColourant  added. It really brought the spongeware pottery look back into the design in a way I was not able to achieve with fabric paint.

I stumbled upon deColourant while experimenting with stamping with bleach to remove color from fabric. The main problem with bleach is that, even after washing, you have to combat the bleaching action in some way because the bleach will eventually eat right through your fabric. Bleach just keeps on bleaching until there is nothing there and washing with soap and water is not enough! You need to use either hydrogen peroxide or this chemical known as Anti-Chlor. I like to try to keep the chemicals and various product purchases to a minimum, plus I've done some tests comparing the bleach (I used dishwashing bleach gel) and the deColourant and I am seeing better results with the deColourant. It does have a strange smell, as does bleach, but it can be easily rinsed away afterwards. 

Another little swatch, this time with the Color Magnet and then a darker shade of fabric paint. On the blank fabric swatch, it was a little hard to see where I had stamped before and where to stamp next. The Color Magnet is tinted yellow but my fabric was a fairly deep ivory so it did not show very well. However, I think this ended up working in my favor because it loosened the design up a bit. I cared less about precision and more about process and discovery. Of course, once I dyed the swatch, it was easy to see what had been stamped and positioning the stamps with the fabric paint was a breeze!

This is my favorite. So simple and sweet. I used just one stamp from the "Hippie Chick" stamp set. First, I used the back of the stamp, which is a perfect polka dot, to stamp with the Color Magnet. After dying, I turned the stamp back over and printed with the red fabric paint and then again using the deColourant. 

This print uses just the deColourant and the red fabric paint. Both the Color Magnet and deColourant have a very thin consistency. Much more thin than fabric paint. I was afraid that stamping would not be possible, but I think you can see that the details in the stamps held up quite well!

I'm very happy with the results. Somehow the prints look more vintage than when using only fabric paint on solid colored, commercially dyed fabric. I can't wait to try more!

But first I want to see if I can make something
really nice with these Valentine's Day swatches!

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