Thursday, 20 March 2014

Nothing is so beautiful as spring –

Thought I would start with a picture of another vase of lovely flowers – these I made last year and were sold in Cirencester, so perhaps they are gracing someone else’s windowsill.   

Last week with the improvement in the weather and light I have been dyeing lot of fabric to replenish my stock - I always like to dye my own fabrics for my work and I particularly like using calico, mostly medium or lightweight, or old textiles such as table clothes. I use Procion dyes and Manutex, a thickener (starts off as a powder – a bit like wallpaper paste) which can be used as a resist or dye can be added so that you have more control over the dye (the Manutex should be made up using the chemical water you normally use for dyeing (urea and soda ash) if you are going to add dye to it). I mainly like to use the Manutex as a resist so that you have areas of white or lighter areas in the dyed fabric, perhaps they are areas in a landscape which reflect light or is it a flock of birds in a field or perhaps sheep.

This is a photograph I took last year whilst walking along the seafront, looking inland, from Frinton to Clacton.  I like the little flecks of white and yellow and the diffferent shades of green and the lovely large circles in the harvested field - good images to inspire me when dyeing fabrics.


  1. Hi Libby, I'm a textile artist from North Wales who designs and makes cushions and textile art. I mostly use Manutex with dyes to paint my textile art. I'd love more advice though about using the Manutex as a resist as one of my new 'paintings' has ripples of light on the sea, which I'm very hesitant about achieving!
    Vicky Williams

    1. Hi Vicky, With regsard to Manutex, I usually use the RS and apply it using a plastic bottle with an adjustable nozzle for making marks. I don't both to wait for it to dry but start applying the dye straight away, dropping or flooding it on so that I don't disturb the Manutex. I then wrap fabric in clingfilm and leave for at least 2 hours. Hope this helps. Libby