Making My Own Fabric! Hand Dyeing and Wax Patterning

I finished another round of hand dyeing earlier this week, and I’m excited to share the results with you! This time around I tried out over-dyeing, mixing dye colors, bleach discharge, and using wax resist to create patterns. It was really a lot of fun! This process has gotten a lot of ideas churning, and I can’t wait to try out different methods for patterning with wax! In this round I tried a few different methods of applying the wax to the fabric – clay stamps, wood stamps, painting, and found objects.

I mentioned in the last post that I learned how to do these techniques through Craftsy classes. There were two classes that I took called Fabric Patterning with Wax Resist taught by Malka Dubrawsky and The Art of Cloth Dyeing taught by Jane Dunnewold. If you’re interested in learning how to do this yourself, you should definitely check out both courses!

WoodBlockStamp

I carved my own wooden stamp, which resulted in the pattern you see in the photo above. It led to a minor injury by carving my finger as well, which thankfully healed up quick! This was dyed in a teal dye bath – a mix of blue, turquoise, and yellow dye. The smudgey part in the upper left corner was a failed attempt at using a book end as a stamp. The result wasn’t very interesting, so I patterned the rest with the wood stamp.
Yellow and Teal
The photo above shows the results of the clay stamps I made. I used Sculpey III, which didn’t turn out to be very durable for this process. Most of the stamps broke before or in the process of stamping. I really like the patterns I got from these, so I’ll have to keep experimenting with different types of clay and other materials to see what will hold up. These were stamped on fabric that was already dyed yellow (you might remember it from the last post I did about fabric dyeing). I discharged them in a diluted bleach bath after the wax was applied. They were then placed in the same teal dye bath as the wood stamp fabric.

Blue Clay Stamps

This is another attempt at using the clay stamps. Again, I really like the results, but only one of the clay stamps I used for this is still in tact. The others all broke unfortunately. I’m going to try recreating them in sturdier clay and possibly wire to see which works best. This was dyed in two different colors in the same container. I poured in some of the teal dye, and a blue violet dye (a mix of blue and purple dye powders).

Wheels

This was created with an apple corer that I found at Goodwill. Metal cooking utensils are a good way to create interesting stamp patterns! I like this because it looks like a lemon cut in half. I combined yellow dye with a tiny bit of orange to create a warm golden yellow for this. This was one of my favorite stampers of the whole bunch.

OrangeWheels

This is another example of the apple corer stamp. I stamped onto a fabric that was already dyed orange (again you may remember it from the last post). I then discharged the fabric in a diluted bleach bath and it was dyed in a blue violet dye bath. As you can see, the orange in the background didn’t discharge very much and it peeks through the  blue violet color. I like this result though because it gives it some depth.

Painted

This fabric was created by painted wax onto the fabric using a regular paint brush and dyeing it in a blue violet dye bath.

OverDye

Last but not least, this is a fabric that was originally blue (you can see it in the last post). I bundled it up with rubber bands the same way as I did the first time and put it in a yellow dye bath. It gave a greenish hue to the whole piece and the outer parts turned a stronger yellow color. I really like the depth that over-dyeing creates which you don’t necessarily get with just one dye bath.

This has been a really fun learning process and I’m looking forward to making a quilt out of my own handmade fabrics. I have a ton of ideas to try out in the next round of wax patterning and dyeing!

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4 thoughts on “Making My Own Fabric! Hand Dyeing and Wax Patterning

    • Thanks! I’m hoping to play around with the clay stamps some more once I get a stronger type of clay to use. I’m also waiting for some gray dye to arrive. I’m hoping that will help create some more muted colors.

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