Dyed Dobby

I have a really awesome warm-weather project for you! My friend and I did this many, many years ago, and I wish she lived closer so we could do it again.

We saw some dresses in Vogue that were splattered with color, and of course they were like a thousand dollars or something, so we just made our own. We didn’t make these white dresses, but we did make them cooler.

We mixed acrylic paint with a fabric medium and water, and then went all Jackson Pollock  on each other. But without the alcohol, because we were too young. It was so much fun, and the dresses came out beautifully! I don’t have mine anymore, because someone stole it from my clothesline. Who does that?

I loved this idea for a dress, and I’ve been thinking about doing something similar for a long time. And now it’s all coming together!

This is the Colette Chantilly, and we sell it here at Bolt & Spool, and it’s beautiful, and it’s going to be my new dress!

Earlier this week I dyed more fabric, because I love to dye fabric. I didn’t do a natural dye this time, because I have some dye powder left over from art school. I use PRO MX dyes, but there are so many other dyes you could use. Make sure your dye is appropriate for your fabric! Most synthetics don’t dye well, and there are different types of dye for wool (protein fiber) and cotton (cellulose fiber).

I set myself up on the deck with a giant plastic drop cloth, and went to town. Actually, it took me a while to get to town, because the dog kept walking on my fabric, and pawprints are not what I envision in this dress. This is what I envisioned:

My fabric was wet while I worked on it. It’s like a watercolor, and the rain left those little splatter marks. It’s lovely! I wanted to keep the white space, because I was thinking of this image I saw of wildflowers next to snow, and I was so pleased.

But, as often happens in sopping wet watercolors, the pigments bled into each other.

This is what it became. I wish I still had that white space and the tendril-y paths of the dye, but… oh well! I’m still very happy with it, and I love the colors (these are all of my dye colors). I used yellow and scarlet, and also rust and olive colors.

You can see the transparency of this gauzy dobby weave. It’s so pretty! The dress lining will really make these colors pop. So, someday soon, this will be a Chantilly dress, and you can all come to Bolt & Spool and admire it! And if you make a paint splatter dress, or a dyed dress, I WOULD LOVE TO SEE IT!!!


Leave a Comment