Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Not All Created Equal

Those of you who've had this experience can attest to the fact that not all commercial fabrics are created equal. By that I'm not referring to their hand or base fiber or even inherent beauty. I'm talking about whether they can be manipulated through surface design techniques, especially discharging or bleaching.
You all might be familiar with my quilts that focus on a singular shibori technique to create patterning. Quilts like this and this. Well, not every commercial fabric that I use works with this technique.
In short, this technique, itajime, uses clamped pieces of plexiglass to form a resist on the fabric's surface. Wherever the plexi comes in contact with the fabric, dye or bleach don't penetrate. This method works much of the time, but I have encountered commercial fabrics where the existing color didn't budge or, despite being cotton, the dye seemed to float off the surface. Considering how much I love this technique and I hoped that this resistance to surface manipulation would not be a characteristic of my new fabric, a stitch in color.
Well, you can all breathe a sigh of relief (assuming you were that worked up about it), I can vouch for the fact that discharging is definitely doable with these fabrics.
I haven't had a chance to over dye these, but usually discharging is more of an issue than over dyeing, so I'm confident all will be well.
My plan is to make a twinkle mini quilt like the one I linked to for Quilt Market this weekend. I'm going to need a few more clamps to expedite the process, but I don't think it's too lofty a goal.
I'll keep you posted.

6 comments:

kathy york said...

Hi Malka,
I had the same concerns about my fabric when it came out too! Your's looks lovely discharged. Yeah!
And, I have a stack of clamps that I am not currently using if you want to borrow....a LOT of clamps....

Aliceart said...

Yeaaahhh! Okay, now I'm really going crazy with the wait!

Fran said...

Can't wait to see your
Tiny Twinkle !Hope you can post a peak.....

susan said...

i got the plexi glass from rose and have some kool fabrics to discharge and the antichlor...just have to find the energy and time. am in 6th week of radiation for facial skin cancer that came back with a vengence but i am getting the upper hand...but i am such a weaking after treatments. need to dye fabric..am jonesing. keep up the good work. cannot wait until your line is available at my local quilt shop....

My Sweet Prairie said...

That's going to be so pretty!! You make the boldest quilts. : )
~Monika in Canada

Joy Manoleros said...

I love these inside pictures to the process. And I can't wait to try out the new fabrics!