Ok, I got such a great response on my other question today, I'll try another!
Has anyone had any experience with air-brush painting on fabric? This is for a ballet costume, a classical romantic tutu. The bodice needs to start out a pale color up around the neckline, and then gradually the color needs to intensify to a noticably darker shade at the waistline. The only way I can figure out how to do it (aside from being lucky enough to find fabric already made in the exact shades I need) is to paint it with an air brush so the color change is very gradual. Just to make it more difficult, it needs to be reproducable because I will need at least 8 identical dresses.
Thanks for the help!
I have not, i suggest if no one here has done it and can assist.. Maybe google you tube, how to air brush on fabric... and then usually those people have their e mail for questions. Hope this helps. I have used this method before to get information from experienced people. If they are posting how to do things they usually like to help. yikes 8 identical dresses, you do have a big job. good luck, let us see the results.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Coco Cathy,
Maybe check over on the Craft board. Those people can do just about anything. Good luck.
● ● ● I think it might be easier to dye them.
Make the dresses first, then figure out how many shades you want. Starting with the lightest shade, dye the whole dress. Then add more color and dip the dress up to the first line. Continue adding more color and dipping less of the dress each time.
No idea if this will work, but I think you would have more control, especially if you don't know how to airbrush.
What is it going to be made of I did this for sleeves on a kamono I wet the sleeves down and hung them outside then I put fabric dye in a spray bottle and sprayed the deluted stuff first and then changed to medium strengh and then to a stonger dye. Since it was wet I could used my hands to blend the gradations.
I practiced first before I touched anything with the Rit dye. If you are working from dark to light you have to hang the item upside down so the dark runs down, it won't run up...not in my universe anyway.
I'm not sure what fabric I'll be using yet, it can vary. The tutu bodice is usually made with several layers. against the skin is something comfortable like cotton, that breathes and can absorb sweat. It also needs to be fairly stiff to provide as much structure as possible. It is often boned in multiple places. The next layer is the decorative outer layer. It can have embellishments like beading attached directly to it, or there can be a third layer like an irredescent net to provide more depth, more sparkle, or more color blending. The bodice pattern itself can be 8,12, or 16 pieces. For this dress, I will be using a 16 piece pattern. For this dress, I don't want any line of demarcation where one shade starts and another ends because that will create a horizontal zoning line running across the torso of the dancer. I was afraid with dyeing the fabric I would get definate lines where the darker color started. With 16 pieces to the bodice, there will be many vertical seam lines which creates a lovely long line on the dancer, and I want to accentuate that and enhance it further.
I've never air brushed anything, so I have no idea how dificult it is. It looks easy, but I've noticed that LOTS of things look easy and definately are NOT!
The success you have with your idea may have a lot to do with the equipment and materials you are able to find. I found this info here & I hope it gives you some help.
There are commercial gradient fabrics that may be able to achieve the look without you having to do all the experimenting with equipment, fabric, or paint.
Found this tutorial on gradient fabric dying.
Thanks Karen, That's really helpful. I wish in the Alex Anderson video when they were talking about paints specifically made for air brushing fabric they would have given the names of the products, but at least now I know such a thing exists so I can search for it. DH has a small compresser so I would just need the paint nozzle and paint. And LOTS of practice!
The examples of gradient dyeing were beautiful and exactly the effect I was thinking of, but the instructions were a little hard for me to follow. Probably due to my nearly complete ignorance on the subject. But the 2 pictures of the finished products were lovely and the color change was very smooth and gradual, just as I would need. So I guess now I just have to experiment and see what technique gives me the most consistent results.
I had thought that the easiest way would be to dye or paint the fabric and then cut out the pattern, but since neither paints nor dyes adhere well to synthetics I will probably go with 100% cotton. That means that to get the stretch I need to form-fit the bodice, some of the pieces will have to be cut on the bias. THAT means that if I have a gradient of color that goes from selvege to selvege, a bias cut piece will have the color going in a different direction which will look weird. So it looks like the easiest way would be to sew it together and then either paint or dye the finished bodice. Whew!!! Too much thinking!!!
Oooh, that reminds me, to see if we can find a site that the guest might have...with more information.
Linda MacDonald.com didn't have any help.
Did an "ombre" dying search and found a couple more things.
Is this more helpfull? Note more fabric choices.
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