Monday, June 30, 2008

rusting 101 June TIF

My rust story for June TIF. i found my old tjantings while shifting stuff around in my studio.When i was still fielding my way into surface design i started doing batik, but couldn't be bothered with ironing off the wax. In fact as i hate ironing i knew i'd never become a batik artist. Nonetheless i had bought assorted tjantings, the good copper ones, and MX dyes. Those got me into dyeing, while the tjantings rusted away.

Oh that lovely patina on copper, that's what i want! This is my project!
i took some of the copper wire knits i have been trying and added acetic acid and salt. But it didn't work.Then my friendly chemist from around the corner suggested what's used here to decrust (is that English??) calcium encrusted taps,faucets toilet bowls and and voila mesdames, lovely patina i got! It is a potent and vile substance called salfuman. Don't ask me the name in English as i haven't been able to find it.

Ok now how does one give that idea a textile body? Think. Think more. And time was fiercely ticking away as i remembered i had some linen and silk fabric as a permanent resident of my stash. Why not use it and destash a bit?

The fabric was dyed first in an alkaline bath for the linen and then in an acid bath for the silk because i wanted the silk to be more saturated in color than the linen. i was pleased as the color came out very similar to the patina.
The next step was to do some sort of reverse shibori.This was accomplished by masking some lines and brushing Fiber Etch to burn away the linen. This Fiber Etch has also been a long time resident of my supply stash.

As a final step i located one of-if not the -last pleating shops in town and had them custom pleat the fabric.
You can see the result. The shawl is very simple, but has a lot of movement.

All in all this has been a challenge albeit a fun one. Conceptualizing while destashing or vice versa.
i could not refrain from giving one of the photos a cross process look so it would also look rusty and aged. :)

neki desu


  1. Beautiful scarf, is it permanently pleated?I tried that flower software but I can't get the petals to move into the page space, must try sure is a useful application.
    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  2. Who knew you could use copper to "rust" dye. What a beautiful colour. Oh, one more thing to try.

  3. i am blown away by your approach and textile knowledge. this is great!

  4. Wow Neki - you do some incredible surface design. this scarf must be very summery as well as beautiful

  5. This is so elegant and fancy being able to find a place that did pleating, I didn't know they existed.

  6. Fabulous color, fabulous scarf! A magnificent project.

  7. Neki, this is fabulous. Beautiful colour and design. Wow.

    (UK equivelant of your decrusting stuff is VIAKAL in case anyone wants to know - didn't realise it would do this, so guess what I will be doing this afternoon.)

  8. sorry to contradict the missus :) , but
    the decrusting stuff is not viakal, that would do nothing to metal.
    this sis the stuff used to make etching plates for engraving and glass etching.

    neki desu


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