A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

And now for something completely different...

After reading Karen´s blogpost, and her search for marbling effects, I got permission from one of my best dye-friends Marrie-Jette (who is always playing with dye and fabric and gets the most beautifull results) to share her tutorial on dyeing ´soapflowers´ here:

First of all, you need to make handmade olive soapsolution. Take a piece of olive soap, grate 20 grams from it, put it in a bucket and pour 1 liter of very hot water over it. Leave it overnight, with occasionally stirring.Then mix 100 ml. of this soapsolution with 2 grams procion powder dye and you have your thickened paint ready!

Put a piece of dry fabric on a large piece of plastic and put a scope of the handmade olivesoapsolution on top of it, spread it out. The cloth should be wet by the added soap. 
 Now take your dye-soap in an tipped bottle, and draw on the fabric. Use a stick to get the marble-effect and add extra soappaint when you feel like it:

 When you´re happy with the results, sprinkle the soda-ash on top of your fabric (ofcourse you can add it to the soappaint as well, but then it can only be used for another 4 hours).

Leave it for a couple of hours, the paint will spread, so keep it horizontal!
The next day you can rinse the fabric in order to remove all the soap.

Isn´t that gorgeous? Marrie-jette also tried to use liquid detergent, but it is too thin to her opinion to work well.

Look how she created a nice dress with these flowers:

Thanks Marrie-jette for sharing your wonderful experiment with us!!


  1. Nienke, I'm totally going to try that! :)

  2. This looks great Nienke. I think the tipped bottle is also called a nozzle bottle.
    gr. Marjolijn

  3. Wooo-what fun it that. Admitting to my ignorance, what is olive soap?

  4. Just Google olive soap. There are many soaps made with olive oil on the marker. And Thank you Nienke for generously translating the blog post. Your translation was perfect. graag dank u

  5. I could be wrong but I expect the real issue here is not the olive soap but a: product with some viscosity that allows the dye to be manipulated without running all over the place and 2) won't stain the fabric itself. I expect you could get the same results using dye paste or aloe vera gel.

  6. I smell another experiment coming on...

  7. Olivesoap is made of oliveoil, known for its high percentage of oil. Any soap rich of oil will do, I guess. Yes that would be fun, experimenting with other types of slippery stuff!

  8. I'm thinking that regular sodium alginate will work too... I am not sure I understand if the soda ash is powder form or mixed with water when sprinkled on top? If liquid, I was thinking maybe a spray bottle would work. I did one experiment ala this technique only creating a ground of thickener on plexiglass, then applying unthickened dye with a spout bottle, but it wasn't very effective. I was thinking of trying another version with slightly thickened dyes... one of these days!

  9. I used a ground of thickener (with thickened dyes on top) on plastic for my last experiment -- I'm going to try this on gelatin. I think that the technique of drawing through the dyes is what makes this great. Although, I wonder if aloe would work.

    Like Beth -- I feel some experiments coming on...!


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