Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update on Rust-dying Fabrics: Over-dyeing & Over-painting Rusted Fabrics

Awhile ago, I took the opportunity to over-dye a few of the lightly rust-dyed pieces I did a year or more ago. I'm working on a series of "rust works" and need more background material on which to work. Since we have some badly rusted hand-rails that I'm getting ready to paint, they were the perfect place to try over-dyeing some cloth. Here are the photos of the vinegar/water soaked cottons wrapped, covered & tied to the stair hand-rail.
And here are the results of that experiment:
Here's another one done the same way on rust-dyed pre-printed neutral-patterned commercial fabric:
This is a piece that's being rust-over-dyed on an old cookie sheet with a few rusty tools added for good measure. After soaking the cotton in vinegar and water, I placed the fabric on the cookie sheet, then dropped the rusty tools on top of the fabric. Then I put a piece of clear food wrap over the entire tray and waited a day or two for the rust to do it's job. Here is the result of the cookie sheet experiment: Notice the yellow in the cloth - it was a surprise element about which I'm quite pleased!

A view of my pile of rusted fabrics & some complementary fabrics... A view of my work table with supplies readied for working. I used both watercolor and Prisma colored pencils on my over-painting experiments. And the results: So far, nothing is completed - I'm still experimenting and having a grand time of it!


frazzledsugarplummum said...

Oh My! What a fabulous compliment the self dyed rust and painted cotton is to the inkjet printed organza. The rusted yellow is perfect with those 'dated' portraits. Well done, great idea. It makes me all enthused....
Thanks for sharing.

KarenF said...

cool cool cool cool!!!!! They all turned out great!

Connie Rose said...

Very cool, Pat. Thanks for sharing the whole process!

Stormee said...

I have collected several rusted items such as nails,chains,hooks, and I even found 2 of those railroad nails. I want to try to do some rust dying this summer. The pieces you created are really pretty and I am encouraged to try mine. How long to do you soak the fabric in vinegar and water?

Pat's Place said...

Thanks, all, for your comments. Storee, the soaking time depends a bit on the temperature. Rust-dyeing occurs more quickly in warm/hot places than in cool/cold places. I like to rust-dye in the garage in summer time, but I could probably put the zip lock bags of rusting stuff on a heat vent in winter (except that the dog would want to investigate!).

I recently read on one of the rust-dye blogs that a combination of salt & vinegar without water work the fastest of all - but I haven't tried that yet.

You don't want the fabric to get TOO rusty because it is much harder to sew. Needles get dull very quickly when going through rusted fabric. Also, needles can literally perforate deeply rusted fabric making it very fragile and unstable.

Have fun with it, though. Use up "ugly" fabrics and see what happens to them. And most of all, ENJOY yourself!