Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More Magdalena Experimentation

I've been working on my Magdalena lollipop bouquet by experimenting with the use of non-wool fabrics in an effort to age the look of the rug.  So far the fabrics include an acrylic sweater (it is the vase portion of the rug) and cotton quilting and dishtowel fabrics.
It's easy to find and add cotton fabrics, but getting them to look old is the bigger challenge.  I selected a range of quilting fabrics off the bolt that appear primitive and old looking.  However, once the fabrics were hooked into the rug they tended to appear brighter than the dull look I want to achieve.  Dull is queen in an old look.  So I tried to dull down the cottons with some staining, but so far I find that the cotton doesn't want to take up a stain or other dye very easily.

Here are some pictures of my efforts.  I'm not so sure you can see much by the photos, but the addition of the alternative fabrics is more evident in person.
Various cotton quilting fabrics are hooked in this part of the rug.
This is the same picture but from further away.  
Here I have used some dishtowel fabric.  I like it better than the quilting fabric, but the color tint is very faint.  Believe it or not, this was dyed with a very strong solution of rust colored dye that is supposed to work on cotton.  Sort of disappointing huh?  
I am now on a quest to figure out how to dye cotton fabrics without going to major expenses for lots of new dyes and dye books.  If any of you have had luck getting cotton to take a dye, I am very interested in hearing from you.

So far my favorite alternative fabric for hooking is using my old flour sack dish towels, but even with a very strong dye solution (for cotton fabric) the towel only absorbed a mild tint of color.

I guess it's back to the dye kitchen for me!
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