Meet the R U A Quilter group. These gals let me hang out with them on a regular basis to do FUN things involving fabric. Earlier this week we got together at a particularly creative members house and she shared with us the ins and outs of RUSTING FABRIC. The process of creating an environment that allows fabric to rust was very quick and easy. It was the show and tell, the awesome food and the all around chatting that took several more hours. But what a FUN day it was!
So here we are with a table full of cheap and easy to obtain items that will allow us to RUST our muslin (also cheap) fabric. Some items were even recycled from the trash, like soda and wine bottles. As you can see Jane and I (at the end of the table) had to do a little team work to convince a piece of copper wire that it really did want to be wrapped around a bottle. What's a friend to do? That's one reason why we tend to do projects like this together! And that's Marty (our token snowbird) in the front very proud that she has her wine bottle and fabric under control.
So here's a close up for you. This is one of Judy's pieces. That's a LOT of wire and I think she managed to get it on there all by herself. Now that's a talent in itself!
You start with muslin drenched in a vinegar solution (or printed fabric in Jane's case, there's always one renegade). You place bits of rusted metal, or metal that will rust, on the fabric. Then wrap it around something (or roll it up around itself) and hold it securely in place with wire or rubber bands. The crucial step is then to keep it wet (for days) with the vinegar solution to promote the growth of RUST.
This is what we ended up with after everything was drenched and wrapped up with metal and rusty stuff. And after a couple of hours of eating, sharing other projects and stories... It pretty much looked the SAME! Now I was raised on the east coast where the humidity RUSTS stuff, so I know the process can literally take years. But for some reason I expected to see some progress (and was disappointed that my STUFF wasn't RUSTING).
Our little projects were left with the EXPERIENCED RUSTER of the group. She promised to tend our jewels with lots of vinegar solution. Low and behold they started to RUST! By the next morning I received this photo from her. I'm told it can take up to six days for the rusting results to reach their full potential. I can't wait to see what we have all created!
I'll post some pictures when we get to the end of the RUSTING process.