Playing with potassium permanganate

My newest favorite book is Drawn to Stitch, by Gwen Hedley.  In it, she has a number of exercises and examples that inspired me to keep a sketchbook of my attempts at some of her techniques.  Some of the materials used in the book I had purchased but never used, such as frisket and chalk pastels.  It’s not enough that I have a studio and an office, I have to spread out in the kitchen:

Line exercise in kitchen

Here is one of the first line exercises, where I drew lines on two sheets of paper with India ink from LeeWard (1994!!!–remember that store?).  Then after cutting the sheets in strips, I wove them together.  Using a small window cut out of cardstock, I then was able to isolate interesting smaller areas in the weave for future possible stitching projects.

Line Exercise

One of the new materials for me was potassium permanganate (which I prefer to call potassium pomegranate because it’s easier, and its color is similar to the fruit).  A quick visit to eBay was enough to locate a one ounce package for sale, which I have found will dye as much fabric as I can imagine I need in that color.  PP (ah–an even easier moniker) is an oxidation agent and comes in powder form.  When dyed in boiling water, fabric has a more even color than using rusting agents such as nails and metal.  The pieces in the photo were left in the dye for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9 minutes.  I wonder how deep the fabric would dye if I left it even longer?

Potassium Permanganate dyed fabric


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