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.

Friday, November 14, 2014

More Results with The Undye

Hi...Marsha from coolquilting here again with a quick extra post!! As soon as I saw Nienke's post on this blog about the "Undye"  here, I knew I wanted to try it. I won't go into details of the process since Nienke covered them in all her posts on the Undye technique. But I will include the steps since they show how the dyes and patterns come and go....along with discouragement and encouragement!!

I started with 2 pieces of cotton about 8 inches by 10 inches and painted on the Procion dyes:
The dyes mixed and formed interesting patterns at this stage! I let them dry overnight.

For the yellow centered one, I folded once diagonally(as best as possible with a rectangle) and tightly rolled it up and tied with thread. For the red centered one, I folded it in half horizontally and then in half vertically to form a piece almost square. I then rolled this square tightly(on the diagonal) and fastened with thread.

I immersed the "worms" in boiling water for about 15 seconds in an old not-for-food pot and got quite dismayed when the water turned completely black:

But I didn't give up since I could see that the pieces were still dyed...I let them dry for 3 days in the warmest room in the house(in the basement with the furnace). These are what they looked like after drying:

After cutting the threads and unrolling I was quite discouraged. The yellow-centered piece looked almost pure black with just a few hints of red colour and the other one looked all black. Luckily I took photographs at this stage: the photographs showed some interesting patterns and colours other than black, so I was now mildly encouraged! The wrinkly pieces are shown below:

I mixed together my soda ash solution and cheap hair gel(adding just enough gel so I thought the soda ash was thick enough that it wouldn't run) and brushed the mixture on. I let them fix under plastic wrap for about 4 hours. I used an old cookie sheet for this stage so the soda ash wouldn't ruin my work table. They look SO black at this stage:
I found this step with the soda ash to be a bit hard on the lungs...so a well ventilated area would be a good idea!! And good gloves!!

After the soda ash/gel incubation I washed the pieces for what seemed like forever!! But finally the water began to run clear...and still the pieces looked quite black to me...but I hung them to dry, mildly discouraged!!

But magically as the pieces dried, the patterns and colours emerged. I ironed them flat and was quite delighted with the results.

The yellow-centered one:

And the red-centered one:

Wow...so cool!!! I will definitely try this again! 


  1. Great results Marsha.
    Guess what I'll be trying this weekend!!!1

  2. Wow!! What amazing results. I can see why you were bit disappointed but you persevered and look at the great result!! This as well as Nienkes fan fold dye are on my must do soonest list!!

  3. Thanks Yvonne and Beth...I want to try the fantasy fold and pleated ones next!


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