Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dragged into rust dyeing

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.



LaLa said...

Yeah LynnDel! If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!!!

You can't always take the path of least resistance!

I am so glad that you caved on this one. Your fabric is lovely! I am a big fan of rust dyeing. I have even thought of trying it on polymer, probably after curing on flat pieces.

chrissieday said...

Oh dear you do sound cross at trying new things but I am pleased you discovered that when you follow directions (not so much the crowds) you can get stunning results.As to what to do with this --it works very well when doing historical work or using metals in your work.Hope this encourages you to try more new things.

LynnDel said...

LaLa, if you ever try it on polymer, be sure and let me know! Chrissie, I like trying new things; I think what was putting me off was that I didn't want to feel like a copycat. Love your ideas - thanks!

LynnDel said...

Chrissie, I don't know if you'll see this, but I tried to leave a comment on your blog and couldn't. Any Blogger blog that asks me to "choose a profile" will not post my comments. I wish I knew why. If they are set up like mine, I have no problem. It took me a year of trying before I figured this much out.

Approachable Art said...

Gorgeous fabric, Lynn!

LynnDel said...

Thank you!

chrissieday said...

looked at my blog and have corrected the listing so you can leave a comment --thanks for ointing this out

LynnDel said...

Chrissie, I am still unable to leave a comment on your blog. Boo hoo! I know I don't have the final answer to the unresolved problems Blogger has with comments not being posted - one of them being an issue with embedded comments, so it might be good to avoid that option. I finally set mine to accept anonymous comments, and things have been working better since then, though I have gotten a couple of notes from people saying they still can't comment. Others can, so it's a frustrating puzzle.

chrissieday said...

I have afeeling that blogger blocks google comments so I do not know the answer maybe email me instead

Melinda Cornish said...

awesome!!!! I am having so much fun here catching up!!!