Creating Patterns on Hand Dyed Fabric

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Clutch from pieced fabric

I love the look of hand dyed fabric. After I experimented with basic low emersion techniques, I wanted to experiment with methods I could use to add patterns to the fabric I hand dyed.

Color variation created by low emersion techniques.

Color variation created by low emersion techniques.

I started by using freezer paper as a resist because it is easy to get, it’s safe to use, and I could work on it anywhere because it isn’t messy. The easiest pattern, the one I started with, is stripes or variations of the stripe. I could create different patterns by varying the width of the freezer paper stripes, or the width that they were spaced when I ironed them onto the fabric. I then used dyed fabric and overdyed the stripes, or painted thickened dye over white fabric with freezer paper stripes.

A stripe variation

A stripe variation

Another easy pattern to create is polka dots. I just traced a bottle cap and made a pattern that I traced onto freezer paper. I cut them out and ironed them onto the fabric. I could vary the size of the dots, their placement on the fabric, and use a variety of techniques to create different designs. For example, I dyed, overdyed, or used metallic decolourant that bleaches and replaces the dye with metallic acrylic paint.

Polka dot fabric

Polka dot fabric

Another easy pattern to create is checks. I just cut out squares of different sizes and used different techniques to create variations.

A check pattern

A check pattern

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