Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Adventure with gel glue resist, part 1

I purchased this fabric about four years ago, mainly because it was on sale and it was wild. Since then I haven't thought of any projects to make with it, because it was SO wild!

Making shopping bags, the kind that prevents you from overpopulating your closet shelf and the rest of the earth with disposable plastic bags, has been on my agenda for awhile. This fabric would make the perfect guinea pig shopping bag project, I thought. I've been wanting to try gel glue resist again, as I did a couple weeks ago.

In the above view you will probably not be able to see the dried Elmers gel glue words and swirls on the fabric, but you can see the waxed parts - along the top and down the bag gussets. I used leftover paraffin wax from when I taught the Candle-making honor to the Pathfinders. After letting the gel dry overnight, I soaked it for 24 hours in approximately 50-50 yellow-turquoise dye mixture.

The next job was to get off the gel. It was plenty slimy, having soaked for so long.

The gel had soaked up much of the dye, and was nasty nasty nasty to get off. I used a spatula to create the above pile of gel. It's a lot of glunk and wanted to stay on my fingers instead of staying attached to the paper napkin where I piled it.

As I scraped off the gel, I could see that it had not done a good job of making a resist. I next used a fine plastic pot scrubber to clean off remaining residue. Still no discernible difference between the glued and unglued areas.

My sad tale continues. Or at least that's what I thought I'd be blogging. I thought I was going to be saying something like, "You can use glue gel as a resist only for projects that use a quick-drying paint, or a dye such as Dynaflow. A long soak in a dye solution makes the water soluble glue cease to resist as one would hope." But sometimes one has happy surprises.


Approachable Art said...

I love happy fabric surprises! :D And yes, the gel resist can get gross, but I go the lazy route and toss the whole mess in the washing machine on hot with some synthrapol and wash it until the gel is gone.

LynnDel said...

Your lazy route sounds great. Is there any danger of a quantity of gel messing up the washer, pipes or septic system?