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.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sugar syrup and thickened procion dye

OK, my turn, sugar syrup.... had to make it myself as I could not think of any apropriate alternative, for sale in the supermarket in the Netherlands. So, one part of sugar, one part of water, simmering for 20 minutes on the fire. Put it in the refrigerator for a night. Didn´t look very thick, actually quite ´runny´ but nevertheless, I started this experiment and wanted to finish it!

So I poured it very carefully on the (PFD, not sodasoaked) fabric which actually looked OK:

Until the morning after ;-):

But I kept the good spirit and went on with the experiment. I decided to use some old thickened Procion MX dye, and added a teaspoon of soda-ash to the dye to fix the dye while batching:

Used a big brush to paint the fabric with it:

Added some turquoise as well:

Looked a bit dry to me, and as we have a ´tropical temperature´ in the Netherlands at the moment, I decided to moisturize is with waterspray, just a little bit, and covered it with plastic to leave it for a couple of hours:

After rinsing and ironing, the surprise was there, a darker coloured halo around every sugar-resist-spot...

And a sort of sugar crystles in those ´whitish´ areas:

I am very happy with the final result. Nevertheless, in the mean time, following Judith´s advice, I also found the pancake syrup in the cupboard, some lemonade syrup and after another night in the fridge, the sugar syrup also looked a bit thicker, so, three new experiments - to be continued:


  1. I really like the dark halos. It gives the fabric a three dimensional effect. Nice!

  2. Very nice Nienke and the sugar spots are amazing.

  3. Great results! I'm encouraged, and hope to get some experiments in soon!

  4. 'Stroop' would be a suitable syrup as well.

  5. I like the brushed on dye effect much better than the drops of dye the others have used. I wonder if there is a way to brush on the thinner dyes or do you think it has to be thickened?

    I am looking forward to seeing the results of the other types of sugar.
    Sandy in the UK

  6. Sandy, I haven't done the sugar resist yet, but have brushed on unthickened dyes with a foam brush on other projects, such as soy wax batik or gel glue resist. Unthickened dyes work well, as long as you aren't trying to use strict control over where the dyes spread. I have a post about it here: http://tiedyejudy.blogspot.com/2012/06/experimenting-on-twill.html. I am getting ready to try sugar resist, and will be sure to do one with unthickened dyes painted on, just to verify that it works as well with sugar as it does with soy wax.

  7. To my humble opinion, sugar resist is such a 'resist light', that thickened procion gives more chance to leave the resist as it is, without dissolving it in short time (as it is water soluble). But I look forward to seeing the experiments. The 'schenkstroop', (thin pancake syrup) was not very successfull... Too thin. Wil post it tomorrow.

  8. What would happen if you put regular syrup in the microwave and heated so you can pour?

  9. Ooh -- what a great idea. I have some aging thickened dyes in the fridge --


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