Wednesday, February 6, 2013

More dyeing

Last night I very thoroughly enjoyed ironing the six yards of fabric that I dyed on Sunday and washed out on Monday.  This process is VERY addicting.  It's so much fun to mix up colors and see what you end up with. As I've mentioned, I'm not following any one method or book, just reading about techniques, then winging it. I can understand that most people might want a little more controlled process, but I learn so much better by trying something than I do by reading about it.

Everyone insists that you should write down your process and list what recipes you used, so you can duplicate your results, but I'm not really ready for that,  I will start doing it when I really think I want to duplicate something.   However, I do want to at least remember generally what I did, and the blog is the easiest place to write it and not lose it!

  • 3 YDS.  The first batch was magenta - very solid with little mottling - I used 1 cup of water to wet then added 1 cup of soda ash after 15 mins.  They cooked overnight (I think) .
  • 6 YDS.  The second batch had a lot of mottling - they were soaked in soda ash solution first, dye solutions were also mixed in the box, just sloshed around, so they probably contributed to the multi-tone look.
  • 3 YDS.  The third batch I went back to plain water first, soda second.  The yellow was solid Golden Yellow concentrate.  Still very slightly mottled.  The bright oranges were well-mixed yellow + fuscia.  As I was warned, it takes VERY LITTLE red (fuscia) to overcome yellow.  The first try was two tablespoons,  it went very orange.  The second try was a teaspoon, still very orange.
  • 3 YDS.  The next three colors were experiments in using up the dye remaining in the box.  Reusing the yellow solution gave a pale yellow (okay that makes sense) but I wanted to make it more subtle so I added a teeny tiny bit of black (teaspoon maybe?).  It is my least favorite, because it just looks dirty. The other two were attempts at gray.  I used test strips of fabric to see what I was mixing -it's almost impossible to tell just looking at the liquid.  The second one started to go to brown and I didn't like it, so I added more blue, which resulted in a gray-green which came out a nice sage-y color when done.  I like it !  The third was a lot of just throwing drips of dye into the box until it looked interesting - it came out a very nice gray-mauve.  I LOVE DOING THIS.
One lesson learned - I read that concentrates don't keep long, and can go bad in a week, so I expected weak colors.  Not so.They were VERY bright after 8 days.    I thought I mixed a small amount for only a few yards, but I've done 12 and there's still enough for 12 more, I'd guess, if I made lighter colors.  We will see if it lasts two weeks.  It's cool in the basement, but I have not refrigerated them.


  1. Dye concentrates last months when kept chilled--until you add the soda ash, is what I've been told. once the soda ash is added, only an hour or so...

    please do add an "e" to your label. Dying is for old and sick people (hopefully). Dyeing is for textile artists. lol