Fabrics.net

Dyeing Natural Colors

Hi Jennifer,
After having read the question and answer portion of your page, I am encouraged to ask advice from you. Initially, as a neophyte, I would like to learn how to dye a beige natural gauze cotton fabric I got from China. I would like to dye them in different colors, some pastels and some vibrant colors. Then I would like to hand paint or silk screen my designs of nature (seashells, starfishes, etc.)on top of the dyed fabrics, but would like my designs to have a faded ethereal effect, not defined lines. The next step after learning the first two techniques, is how to produce the same designs in commercial quantity.
I am now in my golden year and at the crossroad of my career, having been in the family house construction business for so long,. My real passion as a little girl to design clothes, garments, was put on hold, in as much that all my lifetime was spent on family. This time with help from friends and people like you, I would like to boldly step forward and nurture this passion I once had. I am actually excited to try this and launch it soon! I would appreciate your advice. I checked out the site of Dharma Trading, however, they have no outlet here in my country, Philippines.
I look forward to learning from the master.
Sincerely,
Lili

Dear Lili,
I applaud and support your efforts to pursue your childhood creative dreams!
The questions you pose are vast and long and alas, I don’t know the answers to all of them. You may have to consult with quite a few “masters” or maybe invent some techniques yourself.
Start at the beginning and find a source for reactive dyes (that are available at Dharma Trading and also at www.prochemical.com). Experiment with your fabric until you can produce the colors that you want. Search on Google, Yahoo, and askjeeves for the fabric painting technique that you want. Join some fabric painting lists and see what you can learn there. Try different kinds of paints and techniques.
I don’t do any fabric painting myself and so I am unfamiliar with the exact technique that you will need to get the effect that you want. You will need to experiment.
Once you get all that semi-perfected, you can move on to talking to others about commercial expansion. Good luck and many blessings!
Jennifer

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