Recipe: Construct a 'nest' of old towels, topped with very thin plastic (like dry cleaners give you on clothing). Cover with a layer of cloth. Arrange rusty objects on the cloth. Cover with another cloth. Paint with diluted vinegar until thoroughly wet. Cover with very thin plastic. Cover with old towels. Top with heavy objects (bricks work well). Let the whole thing soak overnight. In the morning, you will have rusty cloth.
I love doing this. I collect rusty objects, my sister sends me rusty stuff that she's found, I even intentionally make objects rusty (seal them in a covered plastic container with wet sand and shake daily). By having the wet cloth pressed tightly around the objects, you get beautifully crisp images.
This one, The Cutting Edge, is probably the best of my rust series. All sorts of cutting tools - circular saw blades, scissors, razor and exacto blades. This is a compilation of several different rustings, sewn onto black wool.
Another nice one, with a good shape, and some lovely stitching.
Getting a little carried away here: too many black holes. It looks like it's been shot.
I made about a dozen of these - old napkins with rust designs, which I then thermofax printed with directions for cutting. Then I used a special chemical to eat away some of the lettering. I intended to sew these as well, but never did. Just this year, I took all the napkins to Fiber College and sold them - maybe someone else will finish them?
Remember the very thin plastic used to create the rust images? Well, rust forms on that too. Of course I saved it. One day, out for a walk, I saw somebody had thrown away a weird little shelving unit, composed of strong plastic rectangles (with metal edges) held together by clips. I took it home, took it apart, washed it, and glued on some of the rusted plastic: