Hand Dyed’s and Elmers Glue

MarveLes Art StudiosBlogs 2 Comments

I really enjoy this simple process of dyeing and/or painting fabric!  It’s almost like being in first grade again when you open up your new box of color crayons, Elmer’s glue, and other goodies! 🙂  These are pics of my ‘glue experiments’ and the resulting fabric so far.

I’ve started with a clean, white fabric, which I ordered from Dharma Trading Co.  It’s called “pfd”  which  means “prepared for dye.” PFD fabrics don’t contain excessive starches, and other chemicals commercial fabrics are typically treated with when packaged from the manufacturer for retail. 
The Elmers glue acts a “resist” and wherever the glue has been… the dye won’t be!  I really like the graphic feel of the white designs on the colored fabric!  I did choose to use the “Gel” type of Elmers as it seems to flow smoother from the tip of the bottle.

Here’s the start of my “glueing” design process!  Squeeze and point!  Simple as that.
As you can see from the prints, I’ve created “x’s and o’s” as well as hearts, circles, wavy lines and dots!  FUN FUN FUN!

In this picture to the left, I’ve pre-dyed my fabric with pinks and orangey-yellows.  I like to use Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow dyes available from Dharma Trading Company, as there is no mixing up, and they come in wonderful colors
The word “love” is written with the Elmers.   After the glue dries,  I will over-dye with a reddish pink dye, which will color everything but the words “love” on this fabric.

I let it dry and cure for at least 24 hours. Then I wash the glue out.  Once the fabric is dry after washing, I heat set it with a hot steamy iron to set the dyes.

This is a fun project for kids, too… with some adult supervision, of course.  Also, personally,  I would only recommend having them do the “glueing part.”  The dyes can be tricky as they do stain your skin, and some might be sensitive to the chemical balance as well.  The kids would have fun writing their name and making some pretty fun fabric, or perhaps Mom and Dad’s name, or a sweet little sentiment they think of… Mother’s day… Father’s Day… making a banner, or perhaps a pillow… I’m sure there are lots more ideas out there!

Then there is the overdye effect.  I deliberately and specifically laid on some yellow dye over the lime green turquoise fabric, so the heart pattern would be yellow in some places, and white in the other!  I like the blending effect.

I hope you will check back tomorrow, as I hope to post results of some other dyeing and painting I’ve done and hope to do tonite!

Bless your day!

Comments 2

  1. i also use the glue as word resist for prayer flags among other things..i am painter of fabric and came over from Jan's bolg a.
    your work is wonderful.

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