A New Year: scraps + art cloth

Time to return to painting and printing, but first, taking advantage of opportunities the new year provides: completing partially finished pieces. Shown above: works on cotton broadcloth (left) and a cotton-hemp mix (right). Hemp dyes beautifully; the effect is a bit like linen, which screenprints nicely.

Then, art cloth. I am screenprinting using dyes instead of fabric paints. Procion fiber reactive dyes bond at the molecular level with the natural fibers they are applied to. This results in a soft “hand” to the fabric and good wash-fastness. Dyes are transparent and create wonderful effects when layered. Even the best fabric paints (I use Pro-Chem’s Pro Fab fabric paints) leave a stiffened fabric, and it’s difficult to achieve the transparency I like. My last real burst of screenprinting involved fabric paints to make functional items like tea cozies, table cloths, napkins, and yes, wall hangings. Predating my art quilts, this was 15 years ago. Now I’m eager to try some of my three dozen screens with thickened dye. What follows is a sequence of printing over two days, 2.5 yards.

This is really an interesting combination of colors, but the white will look untended when finished, so I move on with more monoprinting over the screenprinting

the finished fabric, heat set, washed and dried