I’ve really enjoyed trying some new (to me) techniques with my dyeing. Itajime, a shibori technique, involves folding fabric and then sandwiching it between two pieces of wood or other material and holding the shapes with clamps.
I bought these plexiglass pieces for this technique. You can get your own set from this Rossie’s etsy shop where she has lots of different sizes and shapes.
There are lots of ways to fold the fabric. I wanted to try the equilateral triangles. Fabric is folded in half lengthwise, then folded again, and then fan folded into triangles. After folding, I clamped them with bulldog clamps. Since I didn’t have enough for all of my pieces, I used string to secure the last one.
Now to dye them. You can soak the pieces in the soda ash solution before you add the dye. You can also soak them in water, add the dye, and then add soda ash. The other option is to dye them with the fabric dry and then add soda ash. The last option is not a good one. It was hard to add the dye to dry fabric. I did that with two of the four pieces and I won’t be doing that again. I added dye with pipettes until I was happy with the colors. Here they are sitting in the sun.
I let these batch for 24 hours since I was too busy to wash them out earlier. Here are the original folded pieces and my results.
That was fun. My favorite is the second one. Which one do you like best? Thanks for dropping by.
They are all just amazing in their own way. Love the acrylic pieces! Why did you have to show them to me?!? 😉
Nice results! I really like the first one… nice, crisp images. BTW, re: the soda ash, I finally just started pre-soda soaking before folding… I make sure I thoroughly rinse and wash my hands afterward to keep them from getting irritated. The results are worth it, no matter how I fold, clamp, twist or scrunch. I haven’t done any itajime in awhile, but you have inspired me to get my plexiglass shapes and clamps out soon!
Wet fabric always is the absolute BEST when folding and clamping…the water helps the dye move into those inner parts. These are awesome Lynda. Love them all.
Now if Home Depot would just have a sale on those clamps!
Kathy, I thought I’d look for them at Lowe’s. Those were some Dave had from his woodworking days. I’ll go by there and HD in the next couple days and check out their clamps.
Kathy, Yeah, that makes sense but you know, I had to try it! I’m real happy with them. Don’t like the one with the stir sticks much but the rest I really like. Thanks.
Judy, I have started ironing them. I did that on those mandelas and it seems like I got sharper lines and images. These are ironed w/o soda ash. The ones I soaked in soda ash after clamped seem to do fine. I’m glad I inspired you! Can’t wait to see what you do.
Lisa, Thanks. Well, I thought you needed to get involved in something else since you seem to not have enough to do. 🙂
I like the last one the best. There really is a lot involved in some of these dyeing techniques. I’m enjoying witnessing your process 🙂
these worked great..now i just have to decide which resists to buy from the etsy shop!!
I like the first and second ones best!
Marsha recently posted..Photowalk: Winnipeg
These patterns are so cool!
Kathleen, Thanks. The last one is kinda cool. I’m so glad you are dropping by to see what I’m doing!
Marsha, It’s a big decision for sure. If you do buy any from her, tell her you saw them on my blog. I really like the second and I’m thinking about buying a couple more of those but then I liked the first one too!! Decisions, decisions! Thanks for letting me know your favorites.
I like the 3rd one; I like how the color changes at the bottom of the material
Teresa, Thanks. I do love all of the surprises with this technique.
I just finished doing some clamping exercises with wet fabric, and adding the soda ash after an hour. They are lovely – but too light. I’m going to try soaking in soda ash and then folding, although I know it’s harder to fold when the fabric is wet…any tips on making it easier?
Jeanne Marklin recently posted..Welcome!
Hi Jeanne, My favorite way is to fold dry and use an iron to make good folds. Then soak in soda ash. Then dye. If I’m doing regular scrunching, I manipulate the fabric wet after it’s soaked in soda ash. But when I am clamping or using string or rubber bands and wanting specific designs, folding using the iron, then soaking works best for me. Did you see my mandela post? https://lyndaheines.blog/2014/05/tied-fabric/ Thanks for dropping by and let me know about your results.
Thanks, Lynda. I just watched Ann Johnston’s DVD again, and it reminded me of dyeing in the same way you described. Your mandala’s are amazing! I have no idea how to use them, although repetition often works. I could see the same pattern repeated in different colors, including some that are grayed down being very interesting and lively!
Jeanne Marklin recently posted..Welcome!
gorgeous! First and last are by far my favorites. Beautiful!
Lynn, Thanks. I really didn’t like the last one much at all! Thanks for dropping by.
Lynda, My favorite is the first one. Do you only need one piece of the acrylic on top, or are there other pieces in the sandwich? Thanks!
Hi Betsy, Yes, you need a piece for both sides to make a fabric sandwich! I like that one too! Thanks for dropping by.
Hi there! I wanted to ask you if you using natural dye or not? I’m struggling a bit with getting my natural dyes to stick to the fabric. I have pre soaked my cottons in soda ash, but colors are falling out. Any advise? Thank you 🙂
Jodi, No, for this post I used fiber reactive dyes. If you are using natural dye, you need to use the mordant for the specific dye. For instance, I used alum for blackberry. I’ve never heard of using soda ash for natural dyes. Also, realize that natural dyes are not going to be bright. Check out these two posts on natural dyes: https://lyndaheines.blog/2016/08/dyeing-with-blackberries/ and https://lyndaheines.blog/2011/07/dyeing-with-perilla/ Hope that helps.
How large are those pieces of fabric?? Struggling to make pieces big eenough not use to make clothes from. I just get too much white.
Please don’t sell my email address
Kathy, They are fat quarters. The larger the masks, the more white you will have. Also, don’t forget, you can overdye.