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Window Design

HOW-TO: Embroidery Hoop Dye Paintings

April 9, 2013

The time lapse sunset paintings needed to be soft and foggy like the edges of a cloud. Fabric dye on wet muslin had just the right effect of creating naturally faded colors that blended into one another, using the translucency of untreated fabric to filter natural light through the "paintings". This can be a fun way of tie dying, dip dyeing or ombre-ing circular panels to hang on a wall or in a window

-fabric dye (can be bought at Joanne Fabrics)
-unbleached muslin
-large wooden quilting embroidery hoops
-paint brushes
-plastic containers for mixing dye
-utility knife, scissors

First, mix up your various dyes in the plastic containers (this is when the salt comes in).

Lay out your muslin on a clean flat surface. Separate the embroidery hoop halves and fit the muslin over the interior hoop, securing the fabric by placing the adjustable half of the hoop over the fabric from the other side, pull the fabric tight and secure the adjustable hoop. Trim the excess fabric from the edges. There are two ways you can go from here:

1. Take the fabric out of the hoop and dip it in water. Twist it into a log and dip one end of it into dye. Re stretch it between the embroidery hoops and let it dry with the died side facing up, and let gravity take over the hard part of a natural looking fade as the dye seeps into the un-dyed wet fabric. With this method you can tie dye, dip dye, get creative.

2. Keep the fabric in the embroidery hoop and paint water over the whole surface. Then use your dyes as paints across the surface. This way you have the most control but still get those pretty fuzzy edges.
TIP: if you would like to get more detailed, start painting with the dye before you wet the fabric for the detailed parts. Let them dry, and then wet the whole surface. Now you can add the softer puffs of color.