Color Magnet Q & A

Thank you all for reading my blog post this past Tuesday on Lynn’s Smudged Textile Studio website all about one of my favorite products, Jacquard Color Magnet.

Since I heard from several of you with questions, I thought I’d make a blog post answering them.

First off, Jan left me a Speakpike voice mail. Unfortunately, I couldn’t respond to her personally because she didn’t leave her email. If you send me a voice mail, be sure and put in your email or I won’t be able to email or voice mail you back. Here is Jan’s question:

Can you use this with paint?

Jan and all, I have tried this with Dye-na-flow, Setacolors, and other paints and it does NOT work. You need to use dyes. I use fiber reactive dyes, but you also can use Jacquard’s Idye which is what  they use to demonstrate this product. I assume you could also use Rit. I’ve not used it, but believe it would work. It’s all about immersion dyeing. I dyed in ziploc bags, but you could also do this in the washing machine.

Can you use this on silk or polyester?

I used 100% cotton fabric. If you wanted to use it on polyester you’d need to use a dye for polyester. As far as silk, I don’t know. Good question.

Do I have to let the Color Magnet dry?

Yes, you must let the Color Magnet dry. You can use a hair dryer, heat gun, or let it dry overnight which I did.

Do you have to use it with thermofax screens?

No. My tutorial was about using Color Magnet with thermofax screens, but you can use it with a lot of different marking items.

These were made with wood block stamps. You could also use regular stamps.

Color Magnet with wood block stamps

Color Magnet with wood block stamps

These were made with stencils.

Color Magnet with stencils

Color Magnet with stencils

You can use kitchen tools like potato mashers. (You know how I love potato mashers!)

Color Magnet and potato mashers

Color Magnet and potato mashers

You can also put it in a bottle and write with it. You can also buy Color Magnet in a pen.

Writing with Color Magnet

Writing with Color Magnet

And, of course, you can use this with screens. In fact the label reads “Dye Attractant for Screen Printing.”

Could you go over again how you got light backgrounds?

The key to having a strong contrast between the design and the base fabric is to make sure the dye solution is diluted.  That sounds weird, but for darker designs with light backgrounds, use less dye! It also helps to understand how certain dyes work.

Blues (or any color that includes blue) react slowly, so they won’t spend all of their strength dyeing the substrate or the base fabric, and will be attracted to the Color Magnet design. Reds, on the other hand, are notorious for acting fast, and as Jane Dunnewold says, “they are like the bullies on the playground.” They will dye the base before making it to the design, so the whole fabric will be dark with little contrast.

For my examples I mixed up 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of Procion MX 040 Fuchsia dye per 2 cups of water.

Comparison with three amounts of dye

Comparison with three amounts of dye

With the Pro Strong Orange 202 in the following picture, you can hardly see the design on the left. That was one of my first pieces and I was not a happy camper. However, once I understood about the colors I’m better able to control the contrast.

Orange comparison

Orange comparison

Another thing to mention, most of my pieces are not solid in color. I like the mottled look by just putting them in the dye, squishing the fabric a little,  and then leaving it alone. If you want even color, squish the fabric in the bag from time to time over the course of the batch. Of course, if you use the washing machine your pieces should be even in color.

Well, that’s all for today. Thank you again for reading my post and for emailing questions. If you decide to play with the product, I’d love to see what you come up with. Have a great weekend!

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