Ways to Paint, Dye and Pattern Cloth, by Carolyn
Internationally known fiber artist Carolyn Dahl has, successfully completed an ambitious project. Everything you could possibly do to color, embellish, or alter fabric is included in this book. Not only does this book contain a wealth of information, but it is quite readable and has gorgeous photography. How generous it is of her to share so much of her experience with readers; failures, as well as successes.
She begins with the history and properties of cotton, silk and rayon. From there, she progresses to the technical aspects of preparing fabric for dyeing or painting and a discussion of types of dyes. The authorís dye of choice is fiber-reactive dye, such as Procion MX or Sabracron and she provide a detailed explanation of the dye preparation, dyeing process and setting the color; including safety precautions and proper disposal of dyes. A thorough discussion of fabric paints and concentrated pigments is next.
Having covered the basics, specific techniques are shared, i.e., dyeing black and white patterns, water drop patterns, air brushing, using stencils, nature printing, sun printing with heliotropic dyes, sponge prints, compression (shibori) dyeing, heat transfer( dispersed) dyes, stamping, hand carving stamps, discharge techniques, burn-out (devore) techniques, dye painting with wax resist (batik), and silk painting.
All of the techniques are accompanied by beautiful, inspiring photos. The authorís writing style makes me feel like Iím in a workshop listening to her talk. She shares instructions for making your own supplies and tools, which I appreciate. Her enthusiasm is obvious.
That, along with the photos, makes me want to work my way through the book. Carolyn adds exciting new ideas to old techniques and her love affair with hand dyed fabric is evident. I heartily recommend this book for the beginner and the experienced fabric artist. How useful it is to have so much information on such a variety of techniques in one book.
Review by Diana Norris