Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More Food and Fabric Experiments . . .

Apparently, I'm stuck in a rut of mixing food and fabric. Oh well, they are two of my favorite things! And - as the flour paste batik demo showed - they can be two great things that work great together!

Last week, I played around with dying some fabrics - I tried instant coffee and walnut crystals to give things an antiqued look. Here's a place where you can get the walnut crystals online, though I get mine locally at collage, the new store near SE 44th and Woodstock.

Here, you can see the plain muslin, then the muslin soaked overnight in walnut crystals dissolved in warm water and finally, the muslin soaked overnight in instant coffee dissolved in warm water. Because I'm going to use these in art quilts and not for clothing, I just rinsed them and then dried them. I think they would've faded a bit more if I'd washed them.

Here's some cotton ticking that I bought - again, the first one is plain, the second one is soaked in the walnut crystal solution overnight, the third was boiled in instant coffee solution for 10 minutes, and the last one was soaked in instant coffee solution overnight.

And I'm sure that some of you are going to ask me about amounts . . . "how much walnut crystal to how much water? And how much yardage were you dyeing?" and I'm going to start throwing out really pathetic things like "Maybe a few tablespoons of walnut crystals, and maybe six cups of water, but I'm not sure, because I mostly just eyeballed it and threw in maybe a yard of fabric, I dunno." Really, this is just my way of pushing you to experiment! Cool-Aid, anyone?


SisterDG said...

WALNUT CRYSTALS?! Who knew!?!?

gl. said...

you can't call it a rut if you haven't even done it the same way twice! :) why do they call it ticking, anyway?

Michael5000 said...

"Walnut crystals"?

Bridget B. said...


GL - I have no idea why they call it "ticking" - maybe because it used to hold in feather down, which would stick in the fabric, so they called it "sticking" which got shortened down, but . . . I doubt it. Is there a relation to clocks or head-burying, blood-sucking bugs?

M5K - my understanding is that the walnut ink crystals are derived from walnut shells, but I could be off my rocker. People use it a lot to age paper, and even to stain wood.