Two weeks ago I played with dyeing again. I wanted to try some different techniques that have been on that “to try” list. One of those was oatmeal resist.
Since I was using fiber reactive dyes for this technique, my fabric needed to be prepared which includes washing in hot water with Synthrapol or Dharma Textile Detergent to remove any sizing. The fabric is then soaked in soda ash. Here is the process for ice dyeing which is the same for preparing fabric for any dyeing using fiber reactive dyes. For this project, after the soak in soda ash, I hung the fabric to dry. Do not put fabric soaked in soda ash in the dryer.
Once the fabric is dry, mix up oats with a cup of water. Lisa suggested 1/3 cup oats. Put this container in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes. I used a two cup glass container and the oats and water overflowed in the microwave. So in addition to cleaning up the microwave, I ended up adding more water and oats. Be sure and use a larger container so you don’t have to stop and clean up! What you are looking for is a consistency of paste. If you need it thicker, add more oats. To thin out, add more water.
So now it’s time to play. Cover your work surface with plastic. I like to use either a garbage bag or one of those vinyl (cheap) tablecloths. Place your fabric on the surface and begin to spread the oatmeal mixture on top of the fabric.
This is where you can be as creative as you want to be. You can cover it lightly, or just in spots or like me – covered the whole piece in lots of oatmeal. Then it needs to be left alone until it dries. Since I had put so much oatmeal on it, it took two days to dry!
Once it was dry, to make some patterns (or to hopefully make some neat patterns), crunch up the fabric.
Now paint on the thickened dye. I used Dharma Fiber Reactive Parakeet.
Here is what it looked like when it was completely covered with dye.
Now it needs to sit for awhile. I usually let it batch for 24 hours. This gives the dye plenty of time to interact with the fibers.
After the batching time, to wash out the oatmeal, first soak it in a tub of warm water for 30 minutes. Mine was in longer since I was washing out other projects at the time. The oatmeal is not real easy to get off so soaking it will help loosen it from the fabric.
This is a good time to be wearing gloves. Rub the fabric to remove the oatmeal. Once most of the oatmeal is removed, throw out the water, but not down the drain. I dumped mine outside in the grass. Then wash the fabric in hot water and detergent.
After washing and drying the fabric, you have some new material to play with.
And a closer view –
I found this an interesting technique and one I will try again. I love the textured patterns it created. However, I used way too much oatmeal. Not only did it take way long to dry, I didn’t get enough color to suit me.
If you’ve tried this before, I’d love to hear/see your results. If not, will you try this? Oh, just found out that Lisa is teaching an online class on resists. Check it out here.
Have a great weekend!