I know Autumn is coming and Summer is nearly done when these orchids start blooming. It is quite a display this year.
A most amazing exhibition from Marjorie Morris’s collection of textiles was exhibited at Gallery 159. The 140 items had been collected over a lifetime. She also had stories to tell of her adventures in collecting them. She was a very intrepid traveller indeed. It was a very diverse collection and many items were for sale. More details can be found in Textile Fibre Forum magazine, Feb issue #97.
One of this month’s activities was a more comprehensive investigation into discharge. As artists/craftspeople we often become set in our comfort zone and use one technique, ignoring other possibilities. I have been doing discharge for many years, predominantly with bleach and the occasional TUD, but now, I took the opportunity to carry out some tests using 3 discharge chemicals on various dyed silk. In preparation I dyed silk fabric black with procion, and acid dyes (all the dye systems I had on hand). I then divided the fabrics into 3, knotted them (as I wanted some “resisted” areas) and used TUD, Formasol and sodium hydrosulphite on each. Each of these 3 chemicals have specific dyes they react with and fabrics they can be used on. All can be used on silk.
|Premix acid dye e.g. Landscape||Removed black to grey
|Little or no change||Discharged to light grey #|
|Acid dye + acid, (Lanasyn)
|Little or no discharge||Little or no change||Discharged to green/grey|
|Procion MX (soda ash)
|Discharged to brick red
|Discharged to bright brick red
|Discharge to light tea with burgundy red halo *|
|Wool/ silk dye Batch (Earth palette Acid dye)||Discharged back to faint pinkish grey with black being greenish||Discharged to turquoise||Discharged to orange/tea, peach, mauve *|
|Multi coloured procion batch||Discharged to lighter toning of original colours
|Colours are bright. No definite colour alteration
|Discharged to watercolour s /neutrals of originals., predominantly pale turquoise, pale peach *|
In addition to the black, I random dyed a piece of silk with batch method using several colours for sampling.
Comments on results:
I have used the recipes “as is” from Batik Oetoro (www.dyeman.com). These chemicals can also be obtained from them. I would normally have used a stronger mix for TUD. The TUD discharge took longer than what I am used to. I was quite surprised at the gradual change. (Maybe the temperature wasn’t quite exactly right also.)
Sodium Hydrosulphite was rapid. Next time I will supervise the process more closely as I may have missed some interesting colour change. I did not keep the fabric in the bath as long as the recipe stated.
Formasol stank!!! much more than the other two.
The results marked with a * have interesting colour changes.
The results marked # are worth using if black /grey or black/neutrals are required.
It would be a very interesting exercise to mix your own black to see if you could vary the colour separation. Also discharging on other fabrics/fibres will of course get different results, and what would happen if you combined dye systems with different discharge systems…. At least now I have experienced all 3 standard discharge processes and have a point of comparison.
And then there was what could have been a near disaster….I got side tracked and left a dye pot simmering for 2 hours. I had spent a number of days weaving weft shibori on the drawloom. One scarf was in the pot…… I approached the pot wondering what disaster awaited me. I hadn’t boiled it dry. I was lucky! AND it turned out the most beautiful deep blue.