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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Ways to use Your Dye Extracts

I'm always looking for interesting ways to use my dye extracts and have been painting with the dyes on wool and wool/mix fibres, yarn and silk hankies for quite a while.  I want to bring you lots of different techniques over the next year and to start I've got a blog post from Dionne Swift, a textile artist from Huddersfield, who draws, paints, dyes, prints, stitches and embellishes.

Her latest blog post shows her in her studio drawing with Procion dyes on fabric.  I'm not a lover of Procion dyes, there is a lot of dye residue that washes out of the fabrics which goes down the sink, but we can use natural dye extracts in the same way by thickening the dyes in solution.  If you don't want to use Manutex, as Dionne does, gum tragacanth can be used and is available at cake decorating supplies.

Helen Melvins book, Colours of the Rainbow, shows you how to use natural dye extracts with a thickener on fabric.  All Helens books are very useful and well worth having on your shelf.  Her knowledge of natural dyes and indigo in particular are unsurpassed.
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