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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

OOPS! - or - My How Time Flies!

OK, please tell me I'm not the only one who gets distracted and forgets just what I was doing a few days ago!! PLEASE!!!!!  :-)

I put PFD fabric in my 5 gallon bucket to soak in soda ash/water. Then I get involved in making something else and although it only needed to soak for 30 minutes...well...you can figure out the end of THAT sentence!

Now to get right down to the total truth. I have often forgotten pieces for weeks...even months! Now I have a bunched up crusty of fabric with soad ash dried and crystallized all over it! NOW WHAT! Well, the first time this happened I decided to just dye it anyway to see what would happen if........  Low and behold! I ended up with a dyed piece of fabric with a very interesting texture! AND I loved it!. The soda ash had acted as a resist! Very organic and unpredictable (just like I like it!)  I call this Serendipity Method of Dyeing (some call it forgetfulness or dementia but I prefer to view it in a more positive light!)

Here is the long-lost soaked fabric in the bucket. You can see the dried soda ash on the sides of the bucket and the fabric is just a stiff mess!

I took it out of the bucket and placed it on my work island. I also included a side view so you could see just how stiff it is!

Then I put it into a smaller dye bucket and smushed it down just a bit.

 Now comes the dye. I had some purple (grape) already mixed so I just squirted it all over the piece. I'm not sure what method of dyeing you would call this because it isn't even Low Water Immersion. It isn't really immersed at all. I did pick up parts of it and squirt the dye down into the center etc.

Then I place it in my batching closet where it is always a balmy apx 75F for a few hours. Then I soak it well to remove the dried soda ash. I took a photo of this piece while it was wet because I had a bit more to do to it. But you can see the interesting textured appearance. 

Now I soaked it again (since I had now rinsed out all the dried soda ash) and over-dyed it with Hot Pink. Here is the final piece after rinsing and ironing.

And a real close-up so you can see the soda-ash resist purple giving extra depth to the back color.

Now if you don't soak before dyeing, or if you never forget fabric in the soda ash, you can always do this bit on purpose ya know! Otherwise, it is a fun and surprising way to retrieve a long-lost soda ash soaked fabric and turn it into a beautiful piece of fabric.  Happy Serendipity everyone!


  1. I don't them accidents or mistake. I prefer to call the design elements!! And what a great outcome you have achieved!! How very clever of you (smile)

  2. LOL Did it happen again? Great result!

  3. Oh Beth! I like that idea! A rose, is a rose, is a design element! YAY!
    Yep, Wil - and I have a couple more pieces that I didn't do yet. They were not quite as beautifully crusty. But they'll make some pretty fabric soon.

  4. Funny how things turn out!!! This piece is a WOW!

  5. Love your idea of making things right, great result an nice comments too. A whole new way of manipulating with dye!

  6. Thanks Robbie and Eke. One of my new favorite statements (after my #1 - "I wonder what would happen if....") is "Creativity is where you find it!!"


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