More Rice Resist Dyeing

I have talked about my experiments with rice resist dyeing before. I am working on some projects for a local art show where all participants will work in a 6 inch by 6 inch format.  I have had a lot of ideas for this, jotting down lots of notes and trying out different ideas.  On a whim, I decided to try some rice resist dyeing again and found it hard to stop, creating a lot of pieces to choose from.  I proceeded pretty much like before, although this time I soaked all of my base fabrics in a soda ash solution and hung them up to dry before applying my rice resist.  Some of them were dyed a couple of times before reaching this point.

Out of laziness, I decided to try an even simpler resist process.  I happened to have some brown rice flour for cooking, so decided to see how that would work.  I added 1/4 cup to 2 cups of water.  I brought it to a boil and then turned it down to a simmer, stirring the whole time for just 3-5 minutes.  I used this (and I’m sure lots of similar products would work equally well):


I like  using the rice paste hot, so when I put it into a squeeze bottle (a funnel helps with this), I had to hold it with a hot pad to apply it my fabric:

It is amazing what a zen-like state can come from applying the rice resist to fabric and just seeing where the design wants to go.  Here is one example:

I let the fabric dry in a sunny window- usually overnight was long enough.  I then mixed up some dye concentrates and mixed them with alginate thickener I had mixed up.  With each piece, I chose different colors, sometimes more, sometimes less, building them up over the fabric.  Here is a progression of colors added to one piece:

A lot of times at the end, it all looked sort of muddy like this:

At this point, I covered the piece in plastic and let it sit overnight.  My house is pretty warm right now, so I didn’t need to add any heat while the fabric batched.  I got into a routine each day of alternating steps between new pieces.  My favorite part of each day was first thing in the morning.  After doing the urgent morning chores (like taking the dog out and letting the chickens out), I would run my batching fabric under a quick rinse, squeeze it out and then scrape away the rice resist (I have been using a plastic store club card) to see the first peek at what the patterning will be like on each individual piece.  It’s never the same, and almost always surprising.  Here is a first peek at one:

After this, I give the fabrics a rinse, soaking them for awhile in cool water, and then finally washing them in hot water with textile detergent to get out any excess dye.  Now, I get to decide which sections of my pieces will be used for the show- I have one more week to get everything mounted and ready, so I made myself a deadline of today for being finished with all of my dye work.  I made a viewer I will be using to choose my 6 inch sections- it’s really high tech : )

Here are a few of my finished pieces from the past couple of weeks, waiting for me to choose my favorite sections to show:

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1 Comment

  1. jacidawn said,

    September 15, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    These are so beautiful, Karyn!


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