Friday, March 14, 2014

Fabric Dyeing Day

I've decided to share today's adventure of fabric dyeing. 

Yesterday I purchased 10# of ice. 

Today, I chose which fabrics are going to be the volunteers for a little experiment. 
I've chosen unbleached muslin, a piece of mottled golden color, several colorful prints that have a metallic thread in them, and an orange batik-looking piece. These are all in the wash at present, with some synthropol. My new machine is energy efficient, so I spend some time tricking it into doing things my way!!  

Fabrics before going into the bucket of soda ash mixture. 

Soda ash water is now ready and on the porch, along with rubber bands, table covering, bucket with rack over it for the fabric and the ice to sit on, garbage bags, and ice cubes. 

Now, I'm going to fold, wrap, roll, or whatever each piece. Then it will be onto the rack, cover with ice, sprinkle dye powders, and then, WAIT ! Hardest part of all. 

A change of plans. First of all when I put my fabrics into the soda ash solution, the water turned a deep orangebrown. This alerted me to not being able to save it, as dye from one or more of the fabrics had contaminated it. Darn. I twisted and tied up the muslin with rubber bands. The rest is loosely scrunched.  I had wanted to fold and tie but I realize with ice dyeing you have the possibility of non dyed areas anyhow. With this in mind I started to put the ice cubes on top and,,,,, another bit of change in plan. I couldn't find the plate lifter that I used as my rack inside my rectangle bucket, so I found a rack that would sit on top. Only thing is, there aren't  sides to keep the ice cubes piled up, so as they started falling into the bucket I switched things around. I put the fabrics in the bottom of the bucket, ice cubes next and pewter and black dye powders on top. I plan to watch the melting progress and at some point I will do the messy job of lifting the fabric out of the waters and on to the rack, or into ziplock bags and then let them cure for a day or two. 

This is what that looked like:

Now for a cup of coffee, and a chat with MaryEllen. 

Here is a picture of four more pieces that are prepared for dyeing. I did not presoak these in soda ash mixture as I am out. I believe I can get supplies tomorrow to use before everything is done?  I placed these down in the water that was still in my bucket after removing the other fabrics. Those were placed in a plastic bag so they will stay moist until it's time to rinse. I liked what I saw as I took them out of the murky water but the surprise will come after rinse out. 

I enjoy dyeing so much. I have never disliked any of my experiments. Not even those that disappointed me as far as the results I was trying for. Like the time I tried to get 12 shades of brown and I got some lovely blues, purples, aquas, but no real brown. Someday I will again experiment with brown as my focus. I know I could just purchase dye in any number of shades of brown. But, part of what I like is the  trying to mix the three primaries to get what I want. I did purchase black and pewter, besides the two sets of primaries, as I wanted to be able to tone and shade colors.  I have started using them independently of the primaries because I enjoy the thrill of "and what will happen if I ,,,,,". If you happen to be a dyer also, I bet you understand. 

Everything is sitting and processing it's way into the night.  Tomorrow I will take a peak at them and see where I want to go from there. So, till then

Let's Create Today and again tomorrow!


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