Saturday, 11 June 2011

Fabric Samples

In response to an earlier post in which Nicola and I discussed the possibility of producing rusty prints from rubbings, I have experimented with fabric swatches. Having begun with different weighted papers I found that too smooth or dry a surface encourages the rust to simply flake away. In order to make successful prints from the rust deposits a damp surface is needed. Samples previous to the paper below were dampened before rubbing but without prolonged contact with the damp surface, produced a weak print. The paper below was left overnight in damp conditions pressed against a pre-rusted paper clip chain.

 The results, though strong in colour, lack form.
I found that fabric treated with diluted vinegar and kept in the same conditions as the above, produced a far clearer print, with the fabric moulding to shape as it dried.

I think that making literal prints such as this could be an interesting way of making printed jewellery e.g. an emulative necklace or bracelet.


  1. I completely agree - this screams final piece to me - I can totally envision a large floaty white top with this bright, orange, graphic print-like necklace emblazoned on the front! Love it - this has been really successful!


    Before I forget - check out this link to Michelle Lowe-Holder's work. She up-cycles materials & I love her use of soft items - cute ribbons & buckles - to make tough looking urban wares! Very Re-worked!

  3. I absolutely love rust dyeing! It was interesting to see all your results. A couple of suggeations to try - steel wool: very handy if you want to use stencils, or cover larger areas (gives a kind of spotty block of varigated orange. Tea: the reaction between the tannin in the tea and the rust makes black which can be pretty cool!

  4. Thanks for your suggestions Fiona! I actually have some steel wool so may just have to try that out - I hadn't thought of stencils either! And tea is never very far from me so that could easily be tried out too! Its interesting how different rust can be - some samples Sara did before were a sort of blue colour - there's definitely room for play with rust!