Thursday, 28 September 2017

Mordant printing frenzy!

I really enjoy teaching workshops on natural dyeing because I get such a buzz from inspiring people to look at nature in a different way, to learn more about the plants they use and exploring the many and varied ways to utilise natural colour for our enjoyment. However, when I am teaching I rarely get time to explore new techniques myself.  So it was with great anticipation that my good friend, Sylvia Riley from Sydney, came up to Canberra for a long weekend so that we could have a print-fest at Megalo! Having her there enabled me to print the full width of fabrics on my textile screens - around 140cm wide.
Squeegee passing with my print-pal, Sylvia, at Megalo
Megalo is such a great place to print because it has a full-width 8m table 👏 We both managed to get metres of fabric printed, although we were exhausted at the end of it.  My meterage is to be used for one-off naturally dyed and stitched scarves for the upcoming Open Studio Day.
Different mordants printed onto cotton
The only trouble with mordant printing is that when they dry, they are almost invisible, such as the alum above.  The slightly stained part of the design is a very weak iron and alum mix. All the mordants are printed and aged before dyeing.
Process from print to dyed fabric using a range of mordants.
The first dyebath I put this mordant-printed scarf length into was Acacia catechu, or Cutch. This gave me a lovely range of browns and tans, however I felt the scarf was a little 'dull' so once I washed and ironed it, I over-printed with some alum and another iron mix.
Adding more detail to the scarf with new mordants

Barely visible now but will show up in the next dyeing.

These small prints will add further highlights once I dye in my second dyebath, Rajentot.  I am waiting for this mordant to dry as we speak and will show the finished cloth in a few days time.
By the way, I am teaching an intermediate class on repeat printing at Megalo for the next two Saturdays, more details click here.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great Julie, can’t wait to see the overdye