Does Anyone Make Cotton Batting Ornaments?

Discussion in 'Crafting' started by my3boys, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. my3boys

    my3boys Well-Known Member

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    I want to learn how to do this and am looking for patterns/instructions. Batting ornaments were popular during the Victorian period. They have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the last few years, but there is very little out there as far as patterns and supplies, although I think the supplies are very basic.

    I also need instructions on how to dye the batting. I know how to antique it but have never dyed anything before. I'm wondering if it's different than regular fabric because it's so much thicker?

    In case someone is unfamiliar with batting ornaments:

    http://users.rcn.com/lucywebber/
     
  2. RedDirt Cowgirl

    RedDirt Cowgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've seen a few of these before but imagined they were wool felt. Maybe the Fiber Arts forum people could help, the cotton batting should work like felt in construction. I've seen some doll making books that might give you some help with armatures and sculpting.

    As for dying, fiber reactive would be the way to go. The dye bath volume only needs to accomodate the bulk of the fabric, it doesn't just coat the fibers. More control with shades and colors, and it's more light fast, especially for reds. It's astonishing to me how quickly red fades, winter sun really takes its toll.
     

  3. Harry Chickpea

    Harry Chickpea Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wow. I remember my mom having some things like that that she or her sisters made. Ever have a rush of memories like that? Thanks.
     
  4. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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  5. my3boys

    my3boys Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I'll look into the fiber reactive idea.
     
  6. my3boys

    my3boys Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome!
     
  7. my3boys

    my3boys Well-Known Member

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  8. tuggerhugger

    tuggerhugger Well-Known Member

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    You could try looking under vintage cotton watte (the German(?) name of the rolls of cotton wadding used to make these ornaments.)
    For color, have you considered just painting the finished piece with a 1/2 water - 1/2 craft (acrylic) paint instead of trying to dye such small amounts of material. I believe that would even be a traditional method (well, not craft store acrylic, but individually brush colored with thinned out paints)? The paint mixture would help to glue the cotton in place, and you could work with a broader color palette that way.
    Also, traditionally, these would be decorated with lithographs (cut out pictures) or composite 'masks' for faces, etc and embellished with tinsel, buttons, crepe paper clothing and accessories.
    I believe Martha Stewart has had a guest a couple of times who gives a little history and a clear, detailed how-to for these. (Crystal Hannen? ) The directions were on the Martha website once upon a time.
    Hope this helps :)