In my internet browsing, I've been seeing a lot of shibori dying. For those not familiar, it's a process where fabric is folded and bound so that, when submerged in an indigo dye bath, only some of the fabric absorbs the dye. Recently, non-indigo dyes have become popular for this process.
I've also been seeing several options for using rubbing alcohol to diffuse sharpie ink. I thought I'd try putting both techniques together and seeing what came out of it.
My first test didn't turn out quite as I had hoped.
Turns out the Fabric Sharpies don't diffuse with alcohol. Having learned my lesson, I started my second attempt with a solubility test. I drew a few dots and dropped some rubbing alcohol on them to make sure the ink spread.
I didn't like the way silver practically stayed put, so I decided to use berry, valley girl, and aqua. Having chosen my colors, I moved on to folding my flour sack towel.
For my first project, I went with a simple according fold in both directions. Anyone who folded a fan from a piece of paper can do this. As you can see, I made do with what I had on hand for a 'clip'. That means a couple of quarters, a pair of old hair sticks, and some rubber bands. I just wanted something that would keep everything folded tightly.
I wanted some white space between the greens, so I just colored the corners in green, then the entire folded side I split between the pink and purple. After adding way more rubbing alcohol than I anticipated, I got this.
After it dried for almost an hour, I opened it up to finish drying the alcohol out.
I got lots of separation of the green, but no white between the pink and purple. Then I washed it, because I really want to use it in my kitchen!
As you can see, the colors soften a LOT in the wash. It's now very subtle. It isn't as bold as I had been looking to add to my kitchen, but should be perfect for wrapping my lunch to take to work. Have you tried coloring fabric with Sharpies? How did it turn out?