Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Wondering Wednesday : Paints Or Dyes?

I am often asked what is best for colouring lutradur, paints or dyes.  I usually answer that with another question... what are you trying to achieve?  A lot depends on how you are going to use the cloth.  If the transparency of lutradur is the most important thing, then thick paint is not a good idea, as it blocks the little holes that create the transparency.  I recommend transfer dyes or paints when transparency is important, or fluid silk paints (not the thickened variety), remembering to have something underneath the lutradur, as some colour will inevitably leak through those little holes. 

Of course, this isn't a hard and fast rule.  Sometimes you might want to have partial transparency on a particular piece, so paint would be a useful thing to use to block out the background (if you see what I mean).   Combinations of paint and dye are good to experiment with; we might try a project based on that in the weeks to come. 

The quilt above, 'Forgotten Flights' is a good example of a combination of paint and transfer dyes.  The overall colour was created by layer upon layer of transfer dyes.  I then stitched into the base, emphasising some of the 'flying' shapes I could see.  Stitch on its own, however, wasn't strong enough a contrast to make those flying elements stand out, so I added blue acrylic paint to them.  That made a powerful statement.  Try it yourself, next time you need to add emphasis to a piece.

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