Saturday, 13 October 2012

Machine-sewing colour exercise


My first attempt at using soluble fabric

I have wanted to try out water soluble fabric ever since I read the book Transparency in Textiles, so I had a quick go at the machine-sewing alternative exercise.

It was quite difficult to sew, because it was very fragile. It tore easily, and got pulled into the hole in the plate under the needle a couple of times. When I tried to sew parallel lines (to get some kind of block of one colour), the lines ended up on top of each other.

I used red on top and yellow on the bobbin - trying it on both sides, and at a variety of tensions.
And then I added some strands of green thread with yellow on the bobbin. There are colour-change effects here just as there were with the french knot exercises. In some ways they are more obvious because of the thinness of the threads.

It looks interesting, and when I have time I will want to try making something that hangs together a bit better.

You definitely need to do as they advise ie use straight stitch as well as zigzag, so as to keep the thing from unravelling when you dissolve the fabric in water.

I'm thinking that if I got enough practice at this to have a bit more control, I could make some lacy object. It looks like seaweed where the green has gone. Perhaps I could make a fantastic sea creature.

I also started experimenting with fabric paints...

And this is my attempt at using fabric paints,
using a stencil I made for a Homestuck character costume.
The t-shirt and stencil are different bright blues.

Stencilled logo for a zombie run t-shirt  

Using fabric paints - what I learned:
1. Always put plastic between the fabric and the back of the t-shirt.
2. Mixing is easy, but I poured out way too much paint, so need some jars with lids at hand.
3. It doesn't bleed over the edge of the stencil in the way I expected.
4. It's possible to paint straight on with a paintbrush, but this (and in fact the whole thing) works much better on cotton than polyester.

There was a brief article about copyright law on the OCA website, so I read that and explored a bit more and reassured myself that since I do not intend to sell this t-shirt, putting a recognisable logo on it is not infringing copyright. 

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