Technique of the Week #13 – Bleeding Tissue Paper Dyeing

Project hours: 6 hours
Design and materials: 1 hours
Execution:5 hours

So what is “bleeding tissue paper”?  Well, I bought a pack of multi colored tissue paper at Michaels for a tissue paper background that you can sew through way way back.  When I got the packet home, it said it was specifically “bleeding” tissue paper, and boy-oh-boy, it really bleeds when you get it wet.  I have always wondered if it would transfer to fabric, and here is my result.
I used PFD (Prepared For Dyeing) fabric, and various colors of the tissue paper and layered them on in little torn strips on the wet PFD.  I then sprayed the tissue paper witha mister to get it really wet so it would bleed down into the PFD fabric. After the paper dried, I scraped off the tissue paper, ironed the fabric with a hot iron and washed the fabric in warm soapy water until it rinsed clean. The colors lightened, but did not wash out.
First of all, DON’T do this on a windy day or in a breezy room.  Also, you will get this all over your hands.  Another lesson learned was that for more color, I needed to layer on the tissue paper.  The section on the right did not, and it came out a bit light.  
Another thing is that this method has unpredictable results. You may or may not get a texture or color you want.  Or, the colors can bleed together where you don’t want them.  I likened this to a watercolor or pastel painting that’s been soaked in water, colors bleed and spread, and lightened too.  If you planned to go back in and draw in your lines, like I did with thread, it’s a great technique.  But if you’re like me and prefer more predictable results, this was at least fun to try.