Hello everyone. I’m back to share some progress from my textile printing evening class!
For Week Four we used Procien dyes to hand paint screens and used a substance called manutex to push the colour onto the fabric.
Now being a terrible freehand artist this scared me. I started obsessing over what was the simplest geometric shape I could draw without it looking wobbly and crap. Then I realised I could splatter my dye like Jackson Pollock! So I investigated a couple of techniques – dribbling and spraying the dyes.
My tutor advised spraying by flicking the bristles of a brush or toothbrush would be best because the dye has to completely dry before being able to print and thick dribbles might slow things down. I was able to apply three colours (it took 25 mins to dry in between each).
You get to print twice with this method. The first print comes out very vibrant and the second ghostly. We were advised to try cotton first, then silk.
My cotton lawn turned out better than I could have hoped when I first lifted the screen.
The raw silk turned out pale and delicate.
I’ve got extra of the cotton lawn and silk unprinted so I think I can make two tops with splattered fronts or use the prints as accents. I’m still working it out as I know I won’t have time until the end of the course to sew anything up.
Both prints sort of remind me of Jawbreaker gobstobbers… which I like.
“Here comes the science”
Procien is the principal brand name for what are actually reactive dyes. They take their name from their ability to form strong covalent bonds with cellulose fibres, resulting in excellent washing and light fastness properties. This process can be used on all types of cottons and viscose rayon but also work quite nicely on raw silk. So basically natural, smooth close-woven fabrics.
Dye is applied by hand-painting directly onto the screen. Manutex is an Alginate based thickener made from seaweed that can be used to thicken Procion dyes for screenprinting OR as we used them, as a “pulling” agent to push the dyes through the screen.
PHEW! So a lot of info in this blog post and I don’t know whether you’re all finding it interesting. I hope you are enjoying reading my updates as much as I’m enjoying the classes.
I’ll be back soon with finished sewing, I promise. I just need to upload my photos!