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Clamp Dyed Felt

Clamp Dyed Felt

My friend Paula took a class from Chad Alice Hagen last summer to learn to make her little felt books. The class included clamp dyeing felt and Paula graciously offered to show us the technique out our most recent meeting of my local surface design group. We took tons of photos so I’m going to split them up in several slide shows for you to view.

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We started with commercial white felt, soaked it in vinegar water and then clamped various pieces of metal or wood to the folded piece of felt. You use the pieces of metal or wood in pairs so that one piece is clamped on each side. The dyed pieces of felt that are in the slide show above are the samples that Paula made plus a few pieces that she purchased from Chad Alice Hagen.

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We then set up three dye pots out on the patio and started with a light value color in each pot. The clamped pieces are put into the various pots and simmered for 15-20 minutes. We then took them out of the pot, took part of the clamps off (or all) and then re-folded and re-clamped the pieces with different metal/wood pieces. The dye pots were changed to a different medium value color and the clamped wool was put into a different color dye pot.

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We then repeated the process of unwrapping and taking the clamps off and putting them back in different configurations. And the last set of dye was put into the pots using a very dark value. We used black, chocolate brown and deep purple for our last set of dyes.

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And then the really fun part, opening up after the last dye pot. The patterns were amazing and we had a great time. Thanks Paula!

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