Sunday, 22 January 2012

Experimenting with bamboo fabric

Last week I got into the print room and started really experimenting.  I decided to use the method of seersucker with the use of strong caustic soda.  The results were not as I expected! The fabric didn't shrink as much as I had hoped with the chemicals it did take a long time to dry out naturally before rinsing and finishing the process.  The unexpected result was exciting the fabric appeared as if it had been embossed!  This was very interesting as this could be a future method of permanent embossing as the chemicals would never wash out.  My thinking behind why this might have happen was that the bamboo fibres are known to be long thin filaments, therefore the chemicals wouldn't have much of an effect on shrinking and straightening them out as they are already quite straight.  I am now going to investigate dyeing these samples and printing on top of them to see what kind of effects I can gain!
I have also been experimenting more with expantex and pigment printing, layering them up in different orders of printing.  I am trying to keep my methods as simple as possible to keep in with the sustainability theme.  For instance, having one printing technique and one dyeing technique to create a finished fabric is more sustainable than having quite a few for one design.  I have also been looking into embellishing my designs with old beads and buttons that I have found bringing in up cycling to my designs which is gaining popularity fast within industry.  These embellished designs are created with white expantex and sewn on beads and buttons.  They have created lovely natural designs that would fit into the high end market today.

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