Saturday, February 28, 2015

Candyland Tie Dye

I am literally dyeing over here... tie dyeing. 

I made this tablecloth for my roommate's birthday party. The theme is Candyland. It's 3.5 yards and I managed to not make too much of a mess, considering it's 40 degrees outside and I had to do the whole thing inside (Good dye fixation requires warmer temps). Anyhow, I'm pretty excited about the effects of tie dye, as there's a lot more than rainbow spirals. I will definitely be experimenting with more sarongs and bandanas once the weather gets nicer.

My cat wants to be the center of attention

Triple Spiral
Soaking in the dye

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The inexact science of fabric dyeing

 The last month I've worked on a lot of color swatches with tub dyeing. Most of these were dyed for 24-30 hours in 2/3 cup chemical water (a mix of salt, soda ash, and water) and a half-plastic spoon of dye. The interesting thing about dye is that if you add two pieces of fabric at the same time to the same dye bath, each piece may come out a different color because of the way the dye fixes to the fabric. It's an inexact process, but I am getting a better understanding through these experiments. Now I'll have some good references for working with more fabric.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fabric Printing with Dye Workshop Pt. 2

Here's the results from my dye workshop at Stitch Lab after going through the wash. I tried experimenting with lighter values by thinning the dye solution.

Hand stamping

Stamping and screen printing

Hand stamping and silk screen

Color Swatch Test

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fabric Printing with Dye Workshop at Stitch Lab

This weekend I took a workshop at Stitch Lab to learn fabric printing with dye. We used techniques such as stamping, rolling, and silk screen to apply dye thickened with sodium alginate. I even figured out how to use some of the wooden stamps I got in India by creating a stamp pad from felt and towels with dye.

Improptu stamp pad with a microfiber towel.
 I also made my own stamp using the speedball carving blocks. Since I've been watching a bunch of roller derby, I found some inspiration in skates:
Roller Derby Inspiration

I shrunk the drawing using illustrator.

I should really buy some transfer paper, but graphite will do.

I think the pink kind carves more smoothly. This is a bit rough.

Always test your stamps. Here I realize I forgot to cut the wheel centers.

The results from the first day of printing.

Roller Derby print with wet dye.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Year of the Sheep: Dragon Parade

My day job is software engineering at Indeed. This past Thursday and Friday, we had a hackathon, where employees spent the time working on a coding or creative project. I took the opportunity to make a dragon for Chinese New Year. It might be the first time I have been actually paid to use my art degree. I am really thankful to work at a company that values its employees and lets us do fun, creative things. I am also really grateful to all the people who helped me build this dragon, including Yuanyuan, Hideki, Renee, Pooja, Gregory... there were lots of helpful people at the end, so sorry if I didn't acknowledge you here.

The dragon is a little over 20 feet long, and takes 6-8 people to operate. It's definitely the largest project I've done, but it's really fun to work large. Total budget was $170. Aside from the fabric dyeing, the construction took 14 hours.

Sketching out the head

Making the armature

We used embroidery hoops for the body frame

Hacking out a pattern

Starting to take shape

The finished dragon and pearl

The parade at 11 pm.

I had a lot of help with the parade!

Outside we had fireworks

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dragon, Pt. 1

So my company Indeed gave me $150 to make a giant dragon for our Hackathon, which falls on Chinese New Year. Here I am prepping the fabric with some tie dyeing. I got 8 yards of fabric, 6 for the body and 2 for the head. Apparently 124 feet is a standard size for dragons, but what do I know, I'm a white person that took a couple Kung Fu classes. Mine's going to be 20 feet long because I did this in my own (rented) washing machine. 
6 yards

Indeed colors

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tie Dye, Part 2

Here's the results from my first tie-dye experiment. Looks like some parts came out a bit muted, so I'll be sure to add urea to the dye next time to make the stain darker. I might also try overdyeing or printing to finish these pieces.
A sarong

Workout clothes

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tie Dye Pt. 1

Today I experimented with tie dyeing, following the instructions from Dharma Trading Company.

I tied the cloth and soak it in a solution of Soda ash and water

I wring out the cloth and lay it in this nice tray I got at Ace Restaurant Supply

Oops, this is why you should wear gloves

Adding the dye

I wrapped it in plastic and let it soak 24 hours

Monday, February 9, 2015

Yellow Owl Workshop Indigo Blue Dye Kit, Pt 2.

I spent over an hour stamping circles of approximately 1 cubic cm on this cotton cloth. Then, I went over it with a hot iron, sandwiching the messy cloth in between two sheets of blank newsprint.

Lastly, I stuck it in the washer to remove excess dye, as well as the resist. I'm a little disappointed in the large white patches. I'm guessing I didn't iron enough to set the dye uniformly. Oh well, lesson learned!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Yellow Owl Workshop Indigo Kit, Pt. 1

I recently purchased Yellow Owl Workshop's Indigo Blue Textile Kit, which simulates the look of indigo dye. Tonight I'm decorating a cotton scarf with Elmer's Gel Glue, which will act as a resist when I paint on the blue dye.

I used up the whole bottle of glue, just like an American Kindergartener. (I was working on a craft project in college with a Bulgarian student, who observed how much glue americans used and noted that in his primary school, glue was quite sparse. I've also noted that using too much white glue results in a wrinkly application, yet young children tend to lay it on thick regardless.)