Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Potato Dextrin Project

Well, I finished the Potato Dextrin Project!! I wasn't really all too thrilled with the result, but it's still cool. I think it will make a nice base for some kind of elephant themed something or other.

The potato dextrin powder is kind of weird. It moves around like liquid, and is really silky to the touch.
You mix the powder with boiling water until it's smooth like batter. After it cools to 90 degrees, the application begins.

I used a squeegee to make sure it went evenly across the surface. It's rather sticky, so it really ISN'T easy to get it even. The unevenness of the potato dextrin is what gives the surface it's unique characteristics. Here is is completely covered, still wet:

I did this early in the morning, so after we ran errands in the afternoon, the surface had dried and cracked. The sun was a great help for this! It is really cool to see the power of this substance on the surface of the fabric. The fabric actually pulled away from the frame, popping a few of the thumbtacks along with it. I wish I got a picture of that! Anyways, here it is, all cracked up:

Next, I mixed up some dye with some sodium alginate (seaweed), which thickened the mixture. This helped keep the dye from accidentally going beneath the cracked areas of the fabric. The thickened dye was brushed on, tapping into the surface of the fabric with the paintbrush to get it into the cracks well. When all else fails, use the kitchen pastry brush! (That WON'T be used for food Again!)

All filled in with dye:

Then it sat overnight.

I began cleaning it with a brush, attacking one corner with a fury. Realizing I would be there all day, I decided, what the hey, throw it in the washer. I gave it a wash in hot water, with Synthrapol (a textile detergent), keeping my fingers crossed. I opened the washer after it was done, and was like Wow! No residue in the wash!

Here is what it looked like after I removed the dye:

Yesterday I dyed it again in a light black (grey) dye.

I was bummed that I didn't put enough soda ash on half of the first dye. I didn't have enough halfway thru, then had to go and mix up another batch. I was close with the color, but didn't add enough soda ash, so it washed out a bit. Bummer!

Here's a close-up of the two sides, where the colors are more apparent:

You can also see more details of the natural cracks.

All from the joy of Potatoes!!

Still workin' my butt off for the Rothbury Festival. Stay tuned for a direct link to my Rothbury Blog!! I'm still freaking out, but getting excited! I've gotten close to halfway on my goals for my batik t-shirts. They are looking more beautiful than ever with these double dye techniques that I've been doing.

I'm stitching something almost everyday, too! Today I made 5 little girls bloomers and a top for my friend Rebecca. I also altered some pants I made for her a while back.

Well, that's it! Thanks for the interest!!

Pin It

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, where do you buy the dextrin powder? Thanks so much!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...