color wheel in cotton

A few weeks ago, I took the basic dyeing class at the Textile Center, where you dye a color wheel on cotton fat quarters of fabric. From just 6 jars of dye powder–2 sets of primary colors– you can mix  and dye all of these shades. Amazing right?

The set to the far left is from one set of primaries (the more “harvest” colored spectrum), the fabric in the middle is the other set of bright primaries, and to the far right are the tints/pastels dyed from the bright primaries. The fabric looks kind of mottled because I didn’t agitate the fabric in the dye very much, so that it would dye more unevenly.

I learned a lot about mixing colors, but the question remains: What should I do with this practice fabric?

Katazome: pt 1

In mid-February I had the great opportunity to take a Katazome (Japanese paste stencil resist) class with Kit Eastman at the Textile Center. I had seen her beautiful work at art fairs and on her website.

The katazome process is pretty involved, but the main idea is that you apply paste to fabric using a stencil and then paint your fabric with pigments. All the areas that are covered in paste “resist” the pigment. After curing the fabric (aka: waiting a week), you soak off the paste and Viola!, all your careful work is revealed.

This Japanese dyeing method takes a lot of patience. Fortunately, that is something I have.

First, apply the paste through your stencil (Kit was generous enough to let us use hers):

Paint your image, using a mix of pigments and soymilk. (Painting 3 coats–and letting it dry in-between each coat!):

Soak off the paste, gently press your work, and reveal the final design:

One of the coolest things about Katazome is the sheer level of detail you can create. Check out the tiny spots and whiskers on this rabbit: