Brightening Life with Creativity,
one day at a time...
Stumbling through the clearance isles of my local hobby store a few months ago, I found some small packets of solar reactive dye. Always one to try something new, (especially when it is super affordable! ) I purchased some and stashed them away in my supplies.
Over a few weeks, I did some research and found out this could really be fun for someone living in the Lone Star state because of the plethora of sunshine! I went back to the same hobby store and found more packets, in more colors, and even cheaper than they were before.
I bet you know where this story ends.......
Yes, you're right.....
I bought every....
But, don't worry. There were only 12 or so! ;)
Fast forward to a warm, fall day and a little bit of time to experiment. I cut some PFD fabric into two squares and a rectangle, gathered the dye packets I wanted to try, put on my grungies and got to it!
For a stable, contained work surface, I found an empty cardboard box and cut the top flaps off. In the pictures above, you can see how I used one flap to make a bridge for the bottom gap.
I used painter's tape to adhere the first fabric square to the bottom of the box.
If you don't have a roll of this tape in your supplies, I suggest you go get one.
I use it all the time!
For my first try, I chose a packet of Plum.
This dye reacts with any type of UV rays, but obviously bright, direct sunlight is best.
It also works very fast...
You have to work fast too!
I went to my garage where it was darker, spread the dye according to the package directions
and placed the fern leaves on top.
If you plan on trying this at home, be aware that the dye is ammonia based
and the odor is a bit strong!
It dissipated in the garage rather quickly though. Whew!
So after twenty minutes in the bright sunshine, here is the result! Pretty cool, huh?
On to another piece, and another packet of Plum.
There was a bit of curve to the fern branch and a little breeze, so this print didn't turn out as clear, but still pretty neat.
Ready for a change, I used the rectangle piece of fabric and two packets of Copper dye.
Even though the Copper prints are not as dramatic, I still like the look. In a way, they remind me of fossils.
I can envision them thread painted to exaggerate the detail, and maybe even with some bead work.
What do you think about them? Is this a technique you've tried before? I'd love to hear!
Fiber artist, wife to a wonderful husband and mom to 2 awesome kids
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