Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dyeing Fun!

I had a great afternoon yesterday doing some dyeing. I have to dye nearly every week to keep up with demand and ensure that I have a good supply of fabric at all times. Yesterday I decided to experiment. It was pretty cold but I mixed my soda ash with quite hot water so that the fabric was warm when it went into the dye and I mixed the dyes with a warm salt mix. So warmth all around except in the air!

This piece crumpled and folded and I just dripped the dyes on indiscrimately. I am very pleased with the results which would be good on a piece of faux chenille.

Another randomly dripped piece but what isn't so easy to see is that I sat the fabric on a piece of plastic mesh and the mesh marks are visible if one looks closely. I want to do more with this technique and see what other marks I can make the dye show.

This piece was truly experimental in that I sprinkled the dye powder directly onto soda ash soaked scrumpled fabric. I was a tad heavy handed but I like the effect very much. I shall do this again and try it especially with black and brown dyes which have so many colours in them.

I was truly experimental here as I sprayed soda ash soaked scrumpled fabric with aluminium car spray paint to see what happened. Then I spooned two blues over the fabric which pooled in the hollows and ran off the aluminium. When I came to rinse it out after curing the aluminium stayed fast so I was quite excited to see what would come out of the washing machine. I wash my fabric on a 60 degree wash with extra rinses so it is quite hot and takes nearly two hours. Sadly the heat did for the aluminium and it all washed out - wouldn't have done if it had been on a bit of clothing! However the result is lovely and I will try using aluminium spray paint again as a resist with a bit more planning!

This was another multi-coloured dye piece with a mixture of pleating and scrumpling. As is the piece below which has a look of feathers about it.

This piece was very successful in that I wanted to portray rocks and rocks is what I've got. However can I do it again?

And this last piece was using up left over dyes without any thought as to colour mixing. They were just thrown on as I emptied the jars. The colours I was using were mustard, turquoise, slate blue, tarton green and violet. I also had a Christmas red on the go made from cerise and orange but I don't think any of that went into this mix.

All in all I was pleased with my results and it will be hard to let them all go. I shall want to squirrel a couple away for my own use.


  1. The feather one is my favorite, but they all are very interesting. Some day I'll get back to experimenting with dyes - was always going to try that method of sprinkling the dye powders directly on the fabric...

  2. The last one is beautiful. sometimes the NO PLANNING gives unusual effect. They are all nice though.