Friday, March 18, 2011

Rice, Rice, Baby

I wasn't going to post about this.  It's more a failure than a win, but I am using the fabric that resulted from it.  So I guess I should 'splain it.

I took minute rice and cooked it according to the package directions, cooled it, and spread it on the fabric.  I let it dry, then painted on the thickened dye.  This is a half yard of fabric.

The reason it's a failure is that I couldn't get the rice/thickened dye mixture out of the fabric.  So this piece is rather stiff.  Not like cardboard, but not like a piece of good hand-dye should be.  I soaked it, washed it, then repeated the whole process.  Finally I gave up and threw it on the "hmmm..." pile.  Then I needed some bark-like fabric and I got the bright idea of using up some Setacolor paint I had stashed in a plastic container.  I diluted it, then painted it on the back of the fabric.  Then dry-brushed on some acrylic ink on the front in a darker brown.  That's the brown mess on the top edge of the fabric.

This piece is better.  I added some water to the cooled rice mixture before I spread it on the fabric.  This is not as supple as a normal hand-dye, but it isn't stiff.  I got most of the rice goo rinsed out.  This one and the next one are fat quarters.

This is the best piece.  I didn't have enough of the rice/water mixture left to do the whole piece.  So I added some rice flour that had been dissolved in an equal amount of water to the rice mixture (I think I had a half cup each of water and flour).  The goo rinsed out and this one is pretty good.  I don't think I would use this in a traditional quilt, but it will be fine for almost anything else.  And I think it has the best patterning.  It has that nice crackle from the flour in some places with the bolder look of the whole rice bits.  The background looks a bit blue on my monitor, but it's really white in real life.

Click on the pictures to examine them more closely.

It seems to me that things that are cooked stick to the fabric more than things that are not cooked.  I had trouble getting the potato stuff out of my fabric also, but no trouble at all with the rice and AP flours.  I have a package of glutinous rice flour to try next.  I'm curious to see if it will be different from the regular rice flour.


Beth said...

The bark and the red are the best!!! You might try regular long grain rice, rinsed first and cooked... less starch that way. Minute rice is nothing but starch... All the rice here says to rinse first, use 6 cups water and 1 cup rice, boil for 15 minutes or until tender, drain off remaining water, and serve.... but makes sense if you don't want the starch and separate grains.

Karen S said...

That's a good idea, Beth. I didn't even think to rinse it first. We usually eat brown rice and I was thinking of maybe trying that mixed with the rice/flour.

Michele at Sweet Leaf said...

Very interesting ... You have some decent Asian / International food stores in Madison. You could try other mystery starches as resists. I say that because I have a few of them--just haven't been brave enough to do it yet! I agree--just get them wet, don't try cooking them or they cook become permanent on your fabric.