Is it possible to dye iridescence?
Message: Is it possible to dye iridesence? I have woven it using already dyed threads but wondered if it is possible to dye the silk fabric after it is woven. Thanks.
If you overdye already-colored iridescent fabric, the color contrast between the warp threads in one direction and the weft threads in the other direction will be markedly reduced.
Solid color dyeing cannot turn white silk iridescent. Dye can produce color, but it cannot add new textures. The iridescence of woven silk relies on the contrast between the two directions of thread.
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In order to produce iridescent effects on already-woven fabric, you must use fabric paint, or pigment particles, which themselves have iridescent properties. The most well-loved product for this purpose is Pearl Ex mica powder, manufactured by Jacquard Products. It is available in a wide range of metallic, pearlescent, and iridescent colors. The iridescent interference colors have a different color on each side of each flat pigment particle, so that the color you see changes as you move your head.
Pearl Ex is a pure pigment. It does not contain any binder to "glue" it to fabric. To use it with fabric, you must mix it with a clear, colorless fabric paint, such as Neopaque Colorless Extender. Paint or stamp this mixture onto your fabric thinly, allow it to dry, then heat-set the binder by ironing on the reverse side of the fabric with a home iron, as detailed in the manufacturer's instructions.
Another option is to apply a fabric glue to your fabric, then press on special fabric decoration foil, so that the shiny surface comes off onto the glue. Dharma Trading Company sells the Jones Tones fabric glue and the assorted foils that can be used for this purpose. Their "Silver Lazer Drops" pattern is beautifully iridescent.
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Posted: Wednesday - January 09, 2008 at 09:32 AM