Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Playing with Sugar with Silk Dyes on Silk

Sugar can achieve some interesting texture when it reacts with the silk dyes on silk. Not quite as dramatic as using salt but it still has interesting effects.

First you need to make a thick syrup like solution, which will then act as a resist. You can use confectioner sugar mixed with small amount of hot water until it has a runny consistency. If you want you can boil together equal parts or water and sugar on the stove and let it cool. Or you can use icing sugar and mix equal amounts of hot water to it.  Remember you want it to be fairly thick but runny. If it starts to harden warm it up a bit or add a bit more water if needed. You can also use granulated sugar dissolved in warm water.
I used steam set silk dyes with my projects. 
There is different ways to work, you need to experiment. You can apply the sugar mixture to the silk leaving areas white then add dyes around it or apply the dyes first and add sugar over it and you can then add more dyes making a layering effect. Usually when using resists you allow the resist to dry before applying the dyes, but in this case more interesting results occur when the silk dyes are applied while the sugar mixture is still wet. The sugar mixture is not as strong of a resist barrier as gutta so it produces a softer effect.

 Example on the right. I mixed Confectioners sugar with hot water and applied the mixture by dropping it on with a brush to the silk first and applied the dyes around the sugar drops while the sugar mixture was still wet. I also added more sugar later in places. 
 Finished the piece by steaming. Then I rinsed out my scarf in lukewarm water and removed all the excess sugar.
The finished scarf  below after steaming and rinsing  

layering sugar on to the silk with dyes using icing sugar mixed with water   
A piece of the finished silk after steaming and rinsing
More examples of  silk pieces using sugar