The longer I have been teaching I have found that my students have the best class experience when I bring fabric for them to use. There are two primary reasons for this, one is if the fabric needs to be pre-colored with paint or dye as part of the process, there is just not enough time in a 6 hour workshop to accomplish this. The second reason is, there are a variety of different weaves in pfd cottons and for many of the techniques I teach, a smooth, light weight, tight weave fabric, like cotton sheeting, works best and not everyone has access to buying that locally.
For the Tea & Ephemera class, everyone begins with a peice of mottled brown fabric that has been colored with a diluted textile paint solution.
I like to create a variety of browns, reminiscent of tea stained fabric and used tea bags.
To make this fabric, I mix watery solutions of textile paint, this is a great way to use up the remainders of paint left in the jar. I make several browns, one of my favorite colors is made by combining buttercup yellow and purple, it's a gorgeous warm ochre brown.
I crumple peices of dry white pfd cotton fabric and dunk it in the paint solution.
Then I squeeze out the fabric
and lay it on the table, partially crumpled, to dry. As it dries the pigment in the paint is drawn to the creases in the fabric.
After it has dried, I iron the fabric to reveal all the beautiful texture.
I've prepared tea fabric for half the classes I am teaching this year, later this week I will do another big batch to finish the rest. Then it's time to prep for the next class...