Help with dying muslin backgrounds

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Josh, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. Josh

    Josh TPF Noob!

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    Has anyone dyed (or painted) their own backgrounds? If so what prosses worked best for you?

    I tried painting one years back and found that paint dried to hard. The muslin was too stiff. It was a neet efect after being crunched up (lots of texture and when lit right looked very cool).

    Now I would like to make some that are more traditional. I tried some sample peaces last night with powderd rit dyes. The best way was to sprinkle the powder dye on wet muslin and then rinkle it up and run it under some watter. The one thing that I don't like about my results is that there were lots of small dots all over. The general shades were right but the little dots bothered me.

    I am thinking of trying a squirt bottle with dye that is mixed with a small amount of watter. I hope that will get rid of the hard little dots.

    Has anyone had success with any method of dyeing muslin for backgrounds? If so what dye did you use and what prosses did you go through?
     
  2. Jewel

    Jewel TPF Noob!

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    Hi Josh

    Are you after a consistent color backgroud? If so, the easiest way is probably in a washing machine. Most dye manufacturers include instructions for machine dying in the packaging. Just make sure the fabric can move around freely, ie that the machine isn't overloaded. Afterwards be sure to run an empty load through with bleach or color remover though, or you won't be too popular with the next person to use the machine... You may need several dye packs for machine dying. The biggest mistake people make is not using enough dye. Of course, if you're after a pale tint of the original color it may work. You can always redye the fabric if you're not happy with it.

    If a washing machine is out of the question, try the bathtub or laundry tub. Again, follow the directions on the dye pack, and more than one pack may be necessary.

    Would it be easier to buy the fabric already colored, or are you after a particular tone you can't find?

    If you're after a multi-tone dye effect, well, the sky's the limit here. Spraying, splashing, tie dying, overdying, you name it, the only limit is your imagination. Just be sure the end result won't distract too much from the subject.

    Cheers
    Jewel
     
  3. Josh

    Josh TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Jewel,

    I have had some discutions about this on other bords and have doen a bunch of experamenting.

    I am going for muli color and the prosses was harder than I thought it might be. This is what I found to work best so far:

    Take a spry bottle with dye and spray on one color (in some semplance of a patter, it will faid and blend by the end) and let it sit for about 1/2 hr.

    Crinkle up the muslin so that the midle is roled up first, leveing the edges of the fabric on the outside of the wadded up ball. Stuff the ball of fabric in a 5 gal. bucket of dye (the 2nd color). Let it sit for about 1/2hr.

    Rinse in sink untell most of the dye is out of the cloth and throw in the wash.

    This seems to blend the colors nicely and has been the best way I've found so far.
     
  4. Jewel

    Jewel TPF Noob!

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    Fabulous! Glad you found a way to do what you want. I used to do a lot of creative dying for kids' clothes a while back, and you can do some extremely funky things when you think about it.

    Post some pix using the background when you can!

    Cheers
    Jewel
     
  5. Josh

    Josh TPF Noob!

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    Here is a blue one I just did. Don't mined the lighting it is the on camera flash with a sony mavica. I just wanted to see the background =)

    [​IMG]

    Here is a diferant one (it was a small practice peice):

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Jewel

    Jewel TPF Noob!

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    That came out really great! doesn't seem to overwhelm the subject at all.

    Cheers
    Jewel
     

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