As a Graphic Designer who studied painting and drawing in undergrad, my entire life has revolved around different craft projects. Lately, I’ve gotten too far into the computer and am looking to take a step away from pixels to explore some analog creativity. I’ve decided to pair these two items together because they both deal with positive/negative space relationships, one additive and one subtractive. Both kits also use the color blue and involve fabric. I remember doing tie-dye and photo imprint in high school, but haven’t experimented with it since then. I’m excited to jump in!
Based on what I know about myself, I’ll probably over complicate the whole situation and make a huge mess, but because I love crafts and experimenting with different media, I imagine this will be a ton of fun and help me loosen up when I get back to the computer.
I started with the Solar Photography Kit, since its main required material – sunlight– is only available during certain hours and nice weather, but the Indigo Textile Dye Kit can be used anytime. My first go around at the photo fabric was a bit of a fail. I put pine straw on the fabric and left it in the sun in my parents’ shady back yard in Georgia. Because I knew that it would need more time, I left it out for an hour. (But in bright sunlight only 15 minutes are required.) You can barely tell that I did anything.
The second go around happened on my fire escape in NYC. I used flowers, string, and hat pins and had much better results. Also, You can use both sides of the fabric, so I did! Afterwards I rinsed them off to reveal the designs.
As for the dying, all of the ingredients were included, but there were so many different possibilities in the handy booklet that I was a bit overwhelmed, I want to try everything. So, instead I went to Pinterest to help with inspiration and pulled these images:
I also wanted to try the cool idea suggested in the instruction booklet where you put glue on the fabric before you dye it to keep certain areas white. I wrote my name on the corner, so it would be like a fashion designer’s signature on the scarf. Next, I folded the scarf up and wrapped it with string, got it wet, and then went to dabbing. I wasn’t getting enough leverage with the inker, so I popped the lid off and used a paintbrush. I then dried it with a hair dryer, because I was pressed for time. I think my shortcut worked out just fine!
For starters, these kits were super fun and easy to use. I love my scarf and think that my name in it makes it really special. I bought more scarves because there was tons of dye left and I want to keep experimenting with the other techniques that I haven’t tried yet.
The photo fabric was a fun experiment, and I learned that the larger solid objects with interesting shapes had the best results. The thin pins, pine straw, and string didn’t yield as good of sun imprints as the flowers and bangles. I’m not sure what to do with the fabric now, but I’m excited to dream up some fun ideas and experiment more!