Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Mark Making...with Thickened Dyes

The Art Sisters are playing with

Thickened Dyes

We are using found objects to make our marks

We use sodium alginate to create 

thickened print paste

sodium alginate is ground up seaweed

we are using fiber reactive dye...Raven Black

100% cotton fabric

The dye powder and soda ash 

are mixed directly into

the thickened paste

Once mixed together,  we have a 4 hour window

until the dye is exhausted

After each cloth was completed,

it was covered with plastic for batching

We had great FUN making our marks!

We plan to cut up our newly created fabrics

and incorporate them into quilted projects.

For our last canvas,

we put strings and threads 

down on the print board:

All sizes of threads and cords...

then we placed the cotton fabric over the top...

of the strings.

We used large wall paper brushes to rub dye 

over the top of the strings:

Our mark making evolved as the day went on!

Enjoy the Video:

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CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,

LuAnn Kessi


  1. How fun is that!! You all made some gorgeous fabrics!!!

  2. This is one dye technique that I really haven't explored and I really need to!

    1. Hi Vicki,

      This is something I have wanted to try for years. This is such a simple technique and so enjoyable to do. Rather than complicate things with lots of colors, I stuck with just black dye….that way I could concentrate on making the marks and not get confused with colors. Next week I will try some of my hand dyes and make marks on them. The sodium alginate tends to dilute your dye, so I was sure to add lots of dye powder: Raven Black dye 4 Tb to 1 cup of thickened alginate. My favorite found object was a little squirt bottle… made lots of great circles and writing.

      I am planning to create a tote bag with some of the fabric…..I will post it when it is completed.

      I hope you try this very FUN and simple technique.


  3. Love this. I like the idea of focusing on black only. Love the scrubby marks! Looking forward to seeing your tote bags.