I was at the vat dyeing again yesterday; trying to increase my understanding of the process. I had some interesting results.
First, the fuscia dyed cotton. I screened some turquoise and some indigo vat dye onto this and got similar results to the day before. My conclusion is that pretty much everything discharges/vat dyes to the green/blue family from fuscia. This was true of my samples as well. It’s a pretty combination, so I’ll use it again. I got the same yellow, somewhat blurred results from sky blue again. Here is the fuscia cotton from yesterday:
Here’s a detail showing some of the blue:
Here’s the sample from the day before using skyblue and violet-not much difference.
I did make a a great discovery with my silk organza. Tuesday’s sample discharged beautifully, but didn’t lay down any new color. I thought this might have something to do with the material’s position in the steam bath. Normally, all of the vat dyed fabric is loosely rolled inside of a piece of fabric and steamed (like a jelly roll); the vat dyed material is not directly exposed to the steam. The steam has to penetrate through the sheet to reach the material; sometimes through a few layers of fabric if it’s on the inside of the jelly roll. For my experiment, I decided to steam the organza outside of the sheet; meaning it was directly exposed to the steam. The result was much more color laid down. Still no haloing, but a definite improvement. I screened grey on there and love the silver effect that I got. I will try to replicate the results in the next session.
Here’s a detail:
This piece of organza was on the inside of the roll and it didn’t even discharge all that well. No new color laid down; I may be on to something. I have more organza that I will experiment with on Thursday and try to confirm my conclusions. I use organza all the time in my pieces and would really love to get that haloing effect on the translucent fabric.
ThursdayI will be adding another layer of vat dye to the scarves I did on day one and playing with these organza pieces some more. I will take pictures of my set up and process to try to paint a clearer picture of things.
Comments/discussion from anyone else working with vat dyes would be greatly appreciated. I would love to know whether anyone has figured out any hard and fast rules with this process. It seems fairly random to me right now!