The Girl Scout Community Campout is this weekend and I offered to teach a dyeing technique to the girls. Each troop has to decorate a polyester flag at camp! Yikes, what about cooking, hiking, campfires, s’mores, skits… so much to get ready and pack into the car along with one fourth of the girls. Ours is the biggest troop going! But wait, I also wanted to “whip up” an indigo pot to have it ready for dipping in a week or so….
So, here’s the hydrated indigo and I’ve just poured in the heated and hydrated henna. It looks great! Feeling pretty good, I can’t tell you how times I’ve reviewed my notes from the class last year at Arrowmont and the DVD by Michel Garcia.
Then I added the pickling lime. Uh-oh. White specs floating on the surface. Reread my notes: no need to do anything before hand, just sprinkle it in. I even have photos of that being done in the workshop. Melted right in, no problem.
Well, I skimmed and stirred and packed it in a bigger pot with the heating pad around it and waited. Next day, it was looking better with a purple sheet on top. I think it’s going to be okay but it will definitely have to be diluted or we will be scrapping the henna off of our cloth. We’ll see how it’s doing when I get back from camp.
Meanwhile, back at the Girl Scout flag project. I mixed up the transfer dye powder with water and began painting it on to plain ole’ printer paper. It rolls up and crinkles as it dries. You can’t always tell what color you’ve got if you mix things up, so I started with the primary colors only.
Then kinda got crazy and mixed it up on the paper and in the pots. Now I’m not really sure what the transfer is going to look like for each of the dark pages. What with all that was going on around here, I didn’t document the color mixtures very well.
So I snipped off a corner of some of them to test them on polyester and pinned the paper I used to the cloth beside its ironed image Red is kinda pink, the red and yellow mixture is a nice orange, yellow is lemony, red and blue mixture is a nice purple, what I thought might be brownish is actually kind of a nice sage green.
You can cut out shapes and glue them onto a plain sheet of paper of glue stick in an arrangement.
Then flip it over and iron it with the dye color against polyester cloth for about ten seconds, moving the iron to keep the steam vents from marking the shapes. If the dye is thick enough on the paper, you can iron these little collages several times for multiple images almost exactly the same. Please ignore the condition of my ironing mat – it’s my craft one; not suitable or starched white shirts! As if I iron those anymore.
Then peel the cloth off the paper to see the final image. Letters and numbers have to be drawn on the back of the colored paper and glued down in reverse order so they print correctly.
Here’s a little sample I’m taking to show the girls. I have no idea what they will design for the flag. I do have a small piece of polyester satin ribbon for each of them to experiment with. I just hope they enjoy the magic of the process cause I know I will enjoy the no-mess aspect of the project.
When I cut out the blue shapes around the tent, I thought it was a sheet of the green mixture I’d made. But no, a perfect of example of “you never know what you’re gonna get.” Please pass the box of chocolates.
Linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.