Monday, July 2, 2007

Rust Dyeing

I have been a lazy slacker when it comes to my blog lately. But in my defense, I have been busy signing up for various challenges and finishing up other projects.
For instance, I did rust dyeing on fabric for the first time and it inspired me to do my last set of postcards for my exchange. Very cool to get something done.
Rust dyeing fabric was deceptively easy. I thought it would be this long drawn out process that required all my time and a bunch of expensive materials. Was I wrong! I used a remnant piece of white cotton that was prewashed and soaked it in vinegar. I placed it in a pan and put things that rust on top of it. I used steel wool and long rust nails. I placed it in the sun - 90 degree days) and watched the miracle unfold. I just kept moving the material around as various areas rusted and added more vinegar when it was looking too dry. Two days later, I have new material to work with. You have to rinse out the vinegar. I rinsed until it was clean and then added some soap and water to make it smell less like rust. I let it hang dry and it was ready to go. I don't recommend the steel wool because it breaks down into tiny pieces and is a mess to clean up. Use nails, screws etc. - much better.
I am posting photos of the two I did. One was on the white fabric and then for fun, I used a predyed sky blue fabric. That one turned out awesome and was the inspiration for my postcard series. I will post them once I finish the last one. But the blue fabric turned this interesting rusty orange/brown and green color. So now I will have to make some more since it was fun and easy. However, I ran out of vinegar and need more. Some people add salt to there vinegar. I tried both ways and both work.

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