Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weekly Textile Construction #3

I have now completed 3 weekly explorations which I am calling Textile Constructions. I decided to do another piece utilizing the cleaning agent, Soft Scrub with bleach, and choose a piece of fabric which I had dyed multi-colored. I wanted to see how the SS discharged the various colors.

Using a long piece of Plexiglas as a printing plate, I applied a strip of clear packing tape to the plexi and then a layer of SS. I used a second piece of plexi to smear the SS around a little and then removed the tape. You can see the results in the picture on the right below.

The fabric was pinned to a print board and then the plexi with SS was pressed onto the face of the fabric. I did this twice without adding any additional SS. After a few minutes I rinsed the fabric, soaked it in Anti-chlor and rewashed. You can compare the application of the actual SS with the discharged areas in the next two photos. The one on the right is the finished fabric.

The discharged areas added a nice airy feeling to the patterning on the fabric and I choose to cut the fabric into only a few pieces and reassemble.

These pieces were stitched and quilted in a chunky sort of stipple. Actually, I did not intend the quilting to be a stipple, I was just trying to follow some of the patterning but it looks like stippling.

The composition needed something to give focus and I decided to use my chalk wheel marker and draw a couple of lines which I then stitched. First, I stitched those lines with a double needle and two bright colors of thread but that wasn't strong enough so I ran a number of lines of stitching between those rows of stitching with yellow thread and that did the trick.

Then, using my 12" x 12" frame, I selected the exact area I wanted to use, marked it with chalk, stitched 1/4" inside that line and cut the piece from the fabric sandwich. The piece was then zig-zagged.

Observations on Textile Construction #3

1. The Soft Scrub was very effective even when applied lightly.

2. The SS discharged all the colors in the multi-colored fabric.

3. The discharged areas added depth to the composition.

4. The use of simple elements with the complex fabric was effective.


  1. I love this look. I love doing discharge, as well. I am trying to figure out if discharge or resist would be a good way to get hand-written text onto fabric. Hmmmm.

  2. Discharge will definitely work. I have a friend who uses Electrosol with bleach to label her work. She puts it on the fabric she then makes into the sleeve. Looks great.

  3. Hmmm. I guess the problem to solve would be one of control: controlling the size of the lines in conjunction with the timing of the discharge itself.

  4. Hi Terry, just found your blog via Twitter and am really enjoying looking at all your work and on your website too!