Sunday, June 25, 2023

Screen printing, natural dyes, and the Summer Solstice

This past Wednesday, June 21, 2023, was the Summer Solstice. It's the longest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere) with the shortest night. Did you take advantage of all the daylight to do something creative?

Screen printed fabric with natural dyes.

For my Summer Solstice, I was experimenting with screen printing, thickened mordants, natural dyes, and cotton lawn bandanas in a textile workshop called Pattern & Prints & Plants & Play, with Sarah and Emily of Homebody Textiles.

Iron mordant with cutch natural dye.

By using different mordants, the natural dyes react differently to produce the colors.

Three different mordants on logwood.

Mordants can be applied through a screen to create a crisp edge on the patterns. Or, brushes, sticks and other mark-making tools can be used to apply mordants directly to the cloth to create the designs.

Hand painted (left) and screen printed designs on cotton lawn drying outside.

The palette of natural dyes to add color were: weld, pomegranate, logwood, madder, cutch, and lac. Mordants of alum, iron, and titanium were mixed in various ratios and applied to the cloth to create pattern designs. Citric acid was used to discharge.

Color swatches of the natural dyes and mordants.

The following design was inspired by a stitch composition from my 100 Days of Fabric and Stitch Colleges Project. It reminds me of the summer solstice.

Hand application of mordants to cloth dyed with lac.

Blanket stitched circles served as inspiration.

During the half of the year that is now behind us, I diligently kept up with my Create Daily Tracker. The multi-colored boxes indicate the use of a variety of materials and techniques.

2023 Create Daily Tracker—June 25.

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