Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Using Rit To Overdye Cardboard Stamped Fabric

 In the process of straightening up my studio I cut down cardboard boxes for the recycling bin but saw a few box flaps that called out to me to make stamps out of them.   What follows is a description of how the stamp was made and then used to create images on fabric.

Step #1:  I glued cardboard strips to a cardboard backing with wood glue but I imagine any white glue may also be used. 
Step #2:  I used a brayer to apply a dark green acrylic craft paint mixed with equal parts of textile medium to the cardboard stamp.

(I discovered that once the paint has dried on the cardboard, other colors can be applied and different colored stampings can be made.  Bonus!  The stamp can be used over and over again.)

Step #3:  I repeated the stamping 4 times on white cotton fabric .

Step #4:  After the first green stamping was dry, I applied yellow acrylic craft paint mixed with equal parts of textile medium by using an old, plastic shower head as a secondary stamp.

I wish I had taken photos of the following steps, but, alas, I did not.  What had begun as merely an experiment to see if I could get make a useable stamp block with cardboard actually turned out quite nice, but it wasn't until I saw how it was developing that I started taking pictures.

Step #5:  After the second stamping dried, I wet the fabric in almost hot water, spread it out on my protected surface, and used a pipette or lab dropper to randomly apply liquid Rit dye over the entire surface.

Step #6:  After the bluish dye was added, I sprayed Rit Color Stay Dye Fixative on it and let it sit for about 25 minutes.  I then scrunched up the fabric, put it in a microwave safe container with a loosely fitting lid and set the microwave to 35 seconds on normal/high setting.  It is important to note that the steam created in the microwave facilitates the bonding of the dye with the fabric.  Just don't close the lid tightly.  The steam might cause it to pop off and that could make a messy problem

(Note:   Rit Color Stay Dye Fixative can be ordered on-line.  It's a great product and also superbly aids in bonding the dye with the fabric.)

Step 6:  I removed the fabric from the microwave and rinsed it in cold water.

Step 7:  (Almost finished)  I hung the fabric to dry and then ironed it from the back side.  It's a good idea to put a pressing cloth onto the ironing board, just in case any color does come off.  In this case, it did not.
Ta-da!  Here is the finished fabric.

Here is what the back of the fabric looks like.  Now, I can't decide which side I like better.
I was playing around with ideas of how I might use this fabric in an art work and happened to lay the cardboard stamp on top of it.  I rather like the way this looks.  Hmmm, this may have potential.
 Remember, never fear to experiment.  Sometimes wonderful things happen.
©2014 Linda Friedman - All rights reserved.


  1. Gorgeous. Just plain old GORGEOUS!!

    You never cease to amaze me!

    1. Life is so fun on this little hilly plot of land, Anne, but, you of all people, know that. I miss our days of sharing life's little joys.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda Miller. I do appreciate the ah-ha moments. They add fun and vibrant patinas to the days of our lives.