Tuesday, November 11, 2014

painting vs dyeing

This piece was made with painted cloth. Some of the variation in color resembles dyed cloth but it is painted. I used a small amount of paint to apply washes as needed to create the colors I wanted with the fabrics I already had. Most of the fabrics I used were solid colors to begin with - I used the paint to add some variation. I also used the paint to emphasize edges - darkening with washes inside or outside of a stitched line. 

I used Pebeo Setacolor transparent fabric paints. The big bottles I have had for quite awhile. The small bottles are part of a wonderful starter set available through Dharma Trading Co.

I also used sun printed fabric (sun printed with the same transparent fabric paint) I had made awhile back and just cut choice pieces out of it. 

However, we did dye some fabrics in the gold and amber range with smashed apples this weekend, which yielded some similar colors. I think I have mentioned this on here before but we just made cider this weekend and so here it is again.

My people (and pup) - Brett holding the apples that have been pureed through a garbage disposal system he has built for cider making (not shown). The cider colored bag is full of the pulp before it has been pressed. That bag has been used for several years and retains a beautiful rich cider color.

The one used for years shown on the right. Two new bags shown left and middle - of those two only the middle one was used this time. This is after being washed. Pretty amazing I think - just apples.

The lighting on some of my inside photos are all over the place today. We have crossed over into winter temperatures in the last few hours and it feels like it has been getting dark since about noon today. So -  hot cider tonight. Stay warm.


  1. Hi Susan-
    I'm amazed that you can get such beautiful colors with apples! I'm a big fan of Setacolor...the paint I prefer to use. Your piece full of subtle yellows and browns is really beautiful...can't wait to see the final result.

    1. I can feel myself moving into some cool blues for winter as the temps drop this week. I will try and say more about the amber colored cloth soon. Thanks, Julie.

  2. Replies
    1. and I never plan ahead with scraps to thrown in and maybe some tied bundles next year? to see what might happen?

  3. Yeah, wow, I have never heard of dyeing with apples. Thanks for all the insight into your process, I am always curious. I like the picture of your crew. They seem to have mixed emotions.

  4. My guy on the right said he got a sour apple. : )

  5. love your peeps and pooch and thoughts of hot apple cider .
    thanks for info about sun prints and paint and apple dyeing , nice to have all those possibilities

  6. Those autumnal colours are so warming. :o)

  7. great to see your family!

    two boys, husband and dog here as well - our boys had long hair when they were your sons' age; they are back to short and neat these days; did your husband build his own press?
    this autumn we collected apples in a neighbouring orchard with a group for several weeks, all the apples plus apples from other orchards are driven to a press and we can then buy 5 litre cartons of fresh apple juice that will last us through the winter! These are private orchards, so all very small scale and local.