Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Witches Stitches -- Doll making 101

The Witches Stitches Doll Making 101 Ageing Fabric
Staining and ageing your work.

We all love the look of antique fabric. It has a wonderful aged look and can be used for home decorating or crafting. There are many ways to age your fabric. The best way I found was trial and error. These are the ways I have come up with different ways to age fabric.
1 - 100%coton fabric ages the best.
2 – Be careful how dark you age deep colors. Dark reds and deep blues can look “muddy” if you make your solution to dark.
3 – Ageing solutions
     Instant coffee (2 table spoons to 2 cups of water)
     Instant tea (2 table spoons to 2 cups of water)
     Tea bags – (4 tea bags to 2 cups of water)
     Walnut Crystals – (use one teaspoon to 2 cups of water)

Using Instant coffee and instant tea are the same. The two will give your fabric different smells.  You can add a little vanilla extract to your ageing solution to give it a sweat smell.  Tea bags will give your fabric a light muted look. Walnut crystals will age your fabric darker than the other items. Use less walnut crystals then the coffee or tea.
The instructions for ageing are the same no matter what medium you choose to use. I will use instant tea or coffee as an example, but you can choose any of the dyes.

In a glass bowl pour in 2 cups of very hot water. Add instant tea or coffee. Mix the solution until all the coffee or tea is mixed completely. If you have un-dissolved grains this will leave a dark spot on your fabric. After your solution is well mixed, wet and dip a 4” square of fabric into it. By wetting the fabric first your fabric will soak up the dye faster. Dry the square and if you like the way it looks great. If not add more tea or coffee to your water, repeat the dip test. When you have the right shade then dye the amount of fabric you need for your project.

If you want to dye a doll that is already stuffed, you can paint your solution on the doll. You can hang your doll outside with a thread loop. If you want to dry your doll in the oven keep in mind that the side that faces down will dry lighter. It may also have some dark marks on it where the doll touches the cookie sheet. If you want to avoid this, dye one side and dry it, then dye the other side and dry it. Make sure you do not drip your solution down the side of your doll.
Drying –
You can let your fabric dry in the sun or you can use your oven to dry it.

Sun Drying – Natural is always better. I like the look of the fabric when I let it dry naturally in the sun. Keep in mind that when you dry it outside if you drape it over a railing or drying rack the back will dry lighter than the front and you will have a dark line where the rail or rack touches the fabric. I attach a thread loop to the two ends of my fabric and hang it up to dry.
Oven Drying - If you are drying it in the oven you can use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Keep in mind that if you do not turn your fabric half way through the drying process the back side will be lighter than the front. Keep your oven temp. at 200 to 250 degrees. No higher.  If you have your oven set to high you will burn your fabric. Worse, you may set it on fire.

After you have found the right color for your fabric and it is dried you can aged it further by lightly sanding it with a fine grit sand paper. Just be careful not to sand a whole in it, unless that is the aged look you want.
Note – If you age fabric and make curtains or anything that will be in the sunlight on a constant basis, your fabric will fade.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to ask me!!
The Primitive Black Hat Society