Rust dyeing, rust dyeing, rust dyeing. Blah, blah, blah. That's all I've heard about for months. I resisted it, like I resisted Facebook, like I resist just about everything that "everybody" is doing. And why? Because I don't like to follow the crowd, that's why. Then this class comes along, and this book (Fabric Art Workshop, by Susan Stein) for the class comes along, and here I am, rust dyeing, just to get my assignments done.
I go out to the pole shed and find the biggest, rustiest piece of metal I can find. It's -- oh dear, now I forget the name of it. I researched it with my guy friend, a reliable authority, and all I can tell you is that it is a rod used when pouring concrete, to keep the forms where you want them. No, not rebar.
So I wrap this yard-long, 3/4" diameter rod with my muslin, strap it on with fishing line, soak it with 50-50 water vinegar solution, wrap it in plastic and wrap again with fishing line (none of which is as easy as it sounds), and muster up the patience to wait 24 hours to see what happens. I have my doubts. I remember trying to rust fabric for Home Ec when I was 14, the purpose being to test stain removers on different stains. Couldn't get any rust to show up on my fabric, so to this day don't know if rust stains are removable.
But... there she is, tadaaa! -- or at least a part (12"x16") of the fabric I rusted. The darker area on the lower portion is the fabric that was actually touching the metal. It's washed and washed and rewashed, and still feels like it's been starched. Rumor has it that miniscule rust particles remain in the fabric, causing the stiffness. They say the rust will adversely affect my sewing machine needle. Remains to be seen.
So what am I going to do with this astounding piece of fabric? I don't know yet, but I think I might make more of it. Yeah, I'm joining the crowd. You can find me on Facebook, too, and I'm not in the market for rust removers at the moment.