Sharpie Marker Dyeing, Part 5

This episode concludes the series on dyeing with Sharpie Markers.

I purchased fabric with printed black circles on a white background for the express purpose of further dyeing experiments. I got out all of my markers and got to work. In some of the printed circles I used the markers to make colored circles inside of the printed ones. Other printed circles received a colored "x", while I dotted color in the middle of the last ones.

I placed a couple of layers of white cotton under the colored fabric. Then I used a paint brush to apply 70% rubbing alcohol. It seemed much easier to control the flow of the ink when using the brush. The ink didn't spread as far as when I used a dropper or spray bottle. The marked circles didn't match the printed ones, the"X"s didn't look very interesting, and the dots looked the best. But I wanted to experiment further.

I wondered what else I could do. I had some light cotton to which I had previously fused some Pelion 950F interfacing. I got out some stencils to see what might fit the fabric, and found a stencil of some coneflowers that fit. I used my "green", "pink", and "brown" markers to color the pattern. When it dried I saw that the color hadn't bled as far on the interfaced fabric, as it had on the plain fabric. Hmmmmm.

After it dried I used a brush to apply the rubbing alcohol. It was interesting to see the colors briefly intensify as the alcohol hit them. After drying, the image wasn't as distinct as I wanted it to be. I got out the same markers and stencil, and gave the image a second layer of color. It looked like I might be on to something. I showed the result to Wood, who liked it too. What more could I do?

I found another stencil, a sunflower. This time you get to see the whole process. It was time to try combinations of colors. The first layer of color included: "green" leaf, "yellow" petals, and "peach" seeds.

Again with the painted rubbing alcohol. The alcohol had spread the color, as I had come to expect. After drying I applied a second color of: "green" leaf, "banana" petals, and "brown" seeds. Very nice!

During this frenzy of marking I also dyed some ¿freesia? flowers with different colors during each step of the process. I used similar colors for both stages, and it turned out nicely. Another version of coneflowers with two coordinating colors was acceptable. Finally, I tried tulips. I wasn't as pleased with the results, due to a combination of stencils and the different colors I chose.

I wanted to try something else with the sunflower, but I didn't want to mess up what I had done. So I found more lightweight white fabric and fused different weights of interfacing, fleece, and Ultra firm stabilizer. In the long run I didn't find any real difference between how the backings affected the fabric.

This time I used a smaller sun flower stencil. The first and second passes of color were the same. This time, however, I made a third color pass, and used "leg warmer" to outline the petals. Great!

I had previously had skipped a step, heat setting the color after the alcohol application. As I was using cotton fabric, I set my iron to "cotton". At first I applied the iron directly to the image, and found that the iron spread the ink around. I might like that effect in the future, but it certainly wasn't one that I liked at first. I used a pressing cloth to set the larger images. No more spreading color.

My iron is quite hot on the "cotton" setting, so that may be the reason for a bit of scorching on the edges of the yellow based colors. I also found that the "red" color bled back onto the pressing cloth. (Just thought you would want to be warned.)

All in all, this is something that I will want to pursue in the future. I may need to switch to a different brand to get the color combinations that I want, however.

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