Friday, February 1, 2013

Coloring fabric with Sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol

I had bought a whole bunch of polyester sheer fabric and thought I would play with drawing on some of it with Sharpie markers and using rubbing alcohol to have the colors spread.

I forgot to take a picture of my fabric after drawing with the Sharpie markers. I used three layers of sheers and one layer of a solid white polyester (was the lining of some drapes).

After drawing with the Sharpies, I started applying the rubbing alcohol by squirting it with a spray bottle but it wasn't spreading the color much. So I switched to a pipette. I wanted to abstract my marks so I kind of scrunched the fabric to make hills and valleys.  This top piece shows my original patterns pretty clearly. Turquoise circles, red jaggedy lines, blue semi-circles, orange squiggly lines, green diagonal hashes, and black "X"s. I also did some squiggly lines in gold leaf pen, but they did not spread and did not sink into any of the other layers.

Layer 2

Layer 3

Layer 4 (solid - not sheer)

Detail of one of the sheers


I used so much rubbing alcohol during this process, that it was seriously stinky.  It can make a person light-headed if there isn't adequate ventilation. Next time I will do it outside as I didn't even think the exhaust fan I was using was adequate.

My plan is to layer these on a cotton fabric and sew them together on my sewing machine with cotton thread. Then I am going to use a heat tool to burn some of the polyester away.  I will be doing that outside, I have a fear of fire!

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