Rusting To Detail!

Rusty Dog Textiles
Who would think that rust can be used as a creative tool? That intriguing red-orange color formed when iron is exposed to moisture makes an excellent pigment when transferred to fabrics. This is the essence of the products offered by Rusty Dog Textiles.
Fabric is ‘dyed’ by placing a suitably rusted iron form between two prepared pieces of fabric and positioning a weight on top to ensure maximum contact. Mother Nature takes over and in six to eight hours, the transference is completed with the silhouette of the rusty object shifted onto the fabric. The fabric is then allowed to air dry before being soaked a second time to set the color.
Organic canvas, linen and silk are the fabrics of choice. These are typically cut into 20” x 20” sections. All sections are soaked in a proprietary solution to prepare them to receive the rust. You could assume that rust is rust, but each fabric type produces a unique finish. With all environmental influences being equal, silk fabric is the most susceptible to a bleeding effect and canvas being the least effected. The silk bleeding gives the rust a brindle effect, with a gradation of the rust coloration. The linen and canvas, on the other hand, produce a more sharply defined pattern with little bleeding. They also seem to infuse the deepest shades of the rust into their coarser threads.
Up to now, we haven’t really mentioned a most import item of this whole process. Without this element, the rust has no stage on which to perform, so to speak. Let’s turn our attention to the iron objects- the patterns and stencils laser cut from sheets of iron. True to its name, Rusty Dog Textiles provides a good selection of dog breeds- from the tiny Chihuahua to the noble Great Dane. (There may even be a feline or two among the canines.)
Being located in Arizona seems to have inspired another strong influence in the western ranch theme. Whether it’s a cowgirl barrel racing with her Mustang or a cowboy by the fireside with his faithful cattle dog and a cup of joe, these images are captured onto fabric and then crafted into several finished or semi-finished products.
Claudia Buchanan, the Rusty Dog Textiles owner, has been known around the soft home furnishings industry for 15 years as a sewer, teacher and strong supporter of the workroom community. She is actively involved with the Workroom Resource Group and Home Sewing Depot. Now in her new endeavors with Rusty Dog Textiles, she creates stunning pillows and tote bags. She also offers the dyed panels for use by designers and workrooms. The panels can even be mounted and hung as pieces of art if you like.
Contact Claudia at

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