Thursday, July 07, 2005


To answer Lisa's question and anyone else's too. Disperse dyeing or transfer dyeing is the method used for dyeing man-made fabrics especially polyester. Won't dye acrylic! But will dye poly/cotton. Don't try dyeing on cotton or other natural fibres as it won't last. I use powdered dye and mix it up myself but you can buy it already mixed. The dyes mix so you only need basic colours. The method is to paint or draw onto paper (copy paper is good) and then iron onto the fabric with a really hot iron. The paper can be used again and again but it gets progressively fainter. The dye lasts for ever. And so does the paper. I found a piece I did in the year 2000 and it ironed on as good as ever. You can also use transfer crayons which are like wax crayons and get a similar effect. Good to use the two things together. There is a good book on the subject by Linda Kemshall called Colour Moves. I'm sure you can buy this stuff in the States. Try Dharma.

Its been a very sad day here though I was relieved to find out that my daughter and family were OK. Weird to think that if it had happened a week ago I'd have been right in the middle of it! We are so lucky down here in Cornwall away from the metropolis. I never appreciate it so much as I do at times like these. After the relief of knowing all my family up there were alright I felt devastated for those who weren't alright and their families. This sadness won't go away so I'll go and weep over the onions! Anyway I'm off to get dinner. More later possibly.


  1. Cheryl at Violetpatch blog tried this using clay tablets transferring to pellon. I received some of her swatches yesterday and the colours are very intense. She wrote about on her blog...but I'm wondering if fabric instead of pellon would work just as well. Your transfer dye fabrics are gorgeous.

    I'm glad your family is ok...but these are very upsetting times. Hangeth in and peace.

  2. Hi Valeri,

    Glad to see your family are okay - what a terrible day. A friend at my kids' school had a terrible 2 hours trying to phone her husband who was there today, because the phones were so clogged up or just not working.

    I love the things you've been doing with disperse dyes - I like using these. Like you, I've got some papers I painted a few years ago which I can still use!

  3. Our sympathies are with you. The sadness is a strange, hopeless kind isn't it? How to ever deal with such callousness, such total disregard for innocent lives? Glad to hear your family is fine.

  4. Thanks for the answer (and mentioning my name... I'm famous now!) I'll definitely add these to my next Dharma order.

    Glad to hear everyone in your family is okay. My heart goes out to all of London.

  5. Sobering and sad. Violence and more violence, it makes you want to weep. So glad your family is safe!
    I'm intrigued by all the beautiful fabric you've dyed. It is just wonderful.