Today’s Voice is Beth Berman’s

Pre-Treated Cotton

Hello and thank you Janis for inviting me to share on your blog. I love surface design and my two favorite tools are thickened dye and hot soy wax. The idea just popped into my mind one day to mix up both black and grey thickened dye. I thought it would be interesting to take globs (technical term) of thickened dye, smear it here and there on the fabric then scrunch up the fabric and see how it came out. First of all I wanted crisp lines so I had to apply the thickened dye to dry fabric. I knew if I used the light grey color first, the viscose print paste would color the fabric and at the same time act as a bit of a blocking agent to keep the black from overpowering the grey. This is what I did:

oneI rarely NEED pre-treated cotton since most of my dye work is wet. This was the perfect occasion for nice dry pre-treated cotton. I wanted the thickened dye to “stick” to the spot I put it and not wick like it might on wet cotton.


I used both grey and black (MX Cotton Black 602a). I made the grey with a scant plastic knife tip of MX 602a and about 2/3C of print paste. The black was also 2/3 cup of print paste with a level tablespoon (dark) of MX602a. Below you can see I hadn’t blended the MX powder well with the print paste. Colors are splitting out. Hopefully it won’t be distracting.


I LOVE this grey and will do more with it later. I only applied the dye to one side of the fabric, crumpling it and doing a small amount of smearing. I want CRISP lines.

FourI covered it with plastic and let it batch under heated rice bags.

SixI absolutely LOVE the outcome. It was just what I was going for.

SevenFront above, back below


NineFront above and back below. Either side is a winner.


Beth blogs at

Linking up with Off The Wall Friday.


2 thoughts on “Today’s Voice is Beth Berman’s

  1. Thanks so much Beth for the great tutorial! I’m very impressed with the different values and depth you got from using this method, and with the crispness you were able to achieve. Worthy of more experimentation, I’d say!


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