Hi guys! Lauren here. Discovering new dyeing processes is an exciting part of creating clothing – perhaps it’s my favorite part. There are many variables with dyeing, and generally the final result is a surprise. This month, I’m using art tissue paper to transfer color to silk, resulting in a vibrant design.
What you need for this project: Spectra Art Tissue, spray bottle filled with equal parts water and white vinegar, a tray to hold your project, and a dyeable silk piece – scarf, top, dress, anything.
Caution – I’ve read that fabric dyed with art tissue is prone to fading when washed, so use it on a top or scarf that requires infrequent washing. I have yet to wash my dyed top but I will update this post with the outcome once I do. Other precautions you can take – treat your garment with textile detergent such as Synthrapol prior to and following dyeing.
Elizabeth Suzann kindly lent me her kimono top pattern to try out, so I used it for this tutorial. I folded the pattern piece at the center by a couple inches to shrink the size, making sure to cut a wider neck opening. For the top, I used Dharma Trading Company‘s 16mm crepe de chine silk and sand washed it myself using soda ash and Elizabeth‘s handy tutorial.
Once your silk is ready to dye, choose your color scheme. Cut or tear the art tissue sheets into whatever shapes or sizes you prefer, then lay out your garment in the shallow plastic tray.
Place the art tissue on the garment in whatever order you like, covering nearly every inch of fabric. Keep in mind that colors will bleed together, so don’t layer too many colors – you might get muddied results.
Once the art tissue is laid out, completely saturate the garment with the vinegar and water mixture. If more of the garment needs to be covered with tissue, layer and repeat, folding the garment in on itself.
Let your garment dry overnight. Once it is completely dry, check your results and discard any washed out tissue – if you want more color, repeat the process with new art tissue.
Once you have your desired color, heat set the garment by ironing it or throwing it in a warm dryer for 10-20 minutes.
After heat setting, I sewed the side and shoulder seams of my kimono top pieces together. Air out the garment (and maybe use some fabric refresher) to rid it of the vinegar smell, and you have a wearable piece of art.
I heard that the art tissue is reusable for other projects following the dye process, but all my tissue was washed out (not to mention smelling strongly of vinegar) so it had run its course.
There you have it! Feel free to share any thoughts or questions in the comments section below, and check out my blog, Blooming Leopold, for more DIY and style ideas.
Lauren (DIY Sew Contributor)
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