Dripping Damask experiment

posted in: Fabric printing | 14

Yesterday I explained that I would like to replicate an effect from an Alexander McQueen dress. This features a traditional positive-negative damask design which then drips down the dress as it disintegrates.

AMcQ dripping damask
Dripping Damask

Lyn suggested using a batik effect, and this is what I did – to an extent.

I photocopied a damask design in black and white. I laid some thin silk over the photocopy, and where it was black I painted over it with hot wax. I removed the silk from the paper and taped the fabric to the wall. The next step was to paint over the cooled wax with discharge paste and wait for it to drip down.

The paste ran down the fabric in an artful way, which was then dried off with a hair dryer.

Once fully dry I ironed the fabric on the back side which both melted the wax and activated the dischrage paste.

The effect was very good (considering I had no idea if the paste would work with wax as a resist.

Once washed the discharged area was almost white and I plan to make a little top from this piece of turquoise, stretch silk – which I previously used to make a Burda blouse for the SWAP. However this was only an experiment. I want to make the McQueen silk dress in navy blue, with the discharge paste causing the fabric to turn lighter blue – perhaps unevenly so.

However there is a big problem. The turquoise silk was light weight and thin enough for me to see the damask design underneath, allowing me to simply paint the hot wax over the black parts. With my thick navy silk I don’t know how to get the wax resist to provide the damask design. I could perhaps cut the paper to make a stencil and paint over it with wax (or maybe just the discharge paste); or maybe another method may work. What if I paint the design in wax onto some silk organza and then press it onto the navy. After letting it dry it should resist the discharge paste. I may have to experiment with both these ideas before deciding on which way forward.

In the meantime I wanted to say Happy Easter to everyone. We had a lovely Sunday brunch with Eggs Benedict on homemade muffins, pain au raisin, and hot cross buns. All of it home made by Nick.

Home made hot cross buns
Easter Fare

14 Responses

  1. Joyce Latham

    That is going to be so cool. Fingers crossed, I hope it turns out to your satisfaction.
    Those buns look sooooo good, I can smell them from here.

  2. Lyn

    That looks really effective. My email subscription seems to be back! This was in my inbox this morning.

    Good luck with the navy fabric. Could you go freehand with your design?

  3. Jenny

    That is looking good. Are you doing it all at home on your own or as part of your course at the college? And that food looks yummy. What a talented pair you are.

    • Fabrickated

      Yes, these pictures are taken at the Mary Ward Centre on the last day of the course. But this is an easy technique that you can do at home as long as you have a wax pot, a tub of discharge paste, a paintbrush and an iron (I did the photocopy at work).

  4. Tabea

    Looking awesome. How inspiring.
    With the thicker fabric I thought of a device architects are normally using – i seem to be unable to find the english word for that now. It’s basically a glass with light underneath. So you could use a normal glass, put some lamps below it (some which don’t get too hot) and put your design and then the fabric on top. That is dealing with the problem of very thick and opaque paper and could work for fabric, too. Worth a try probably.

  5. Stephanie

    Similar to Tabea’s idea, I guess there’s a window. I do that sometimes when I need to trace things but I don’t know if you could do this with fabric. That said, the second idea that you have also seems plausible, if it is possible to control the paper. Good luck in any case as the effect is absolutely gorgeous!

    Nick puts my hot cross buns to shame, I must admit. I usually am good with bread but I think I let my milk cool too much and didn’t activate the yeast sufficiently. That said, they were still tasty. How lucky you are to have such a fantastic cook in the house!

  6. Sew2pro

    A beautiful fabric and your experiment looks very effective. I hope you get to use your test piece somehow!

    I have a Muji “cube light” that looks a bit like a light box. Might give this a try one day.

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