Friday, August 15, 2014

A Good Day to Dye

On Sunday, I finally found time to get to dying again!  I had about 16 yards of PFD ready and waiting, and also five small jars of MX dye powder.  I didn't have any particular colors in mind, which was good because making a specific color is beyond my ability and interest level right now.  
If I ever wrote a book about dying (which I won't) it would be called "Dying by the Seat of Your Pants."   That sums up my approach.

If you have thoughts or suggestions I'm happy to hear them in the comments, but understand I'm probably never going to carefully measure teaspoons of dye concentrate, etc.   I like the random aspect!

This old cabinet that we took out of the upstairs family room has become "Dye Central" and is where I store all my various equipment.  You can see the little jars of dye powder that I pulled out and lined up on the window sill amongst my knick-knacks.
Here is a close-up of some of the mixed dye concentrates, and some tools.  I went through Goodwill, Salvation Army and a couple other thrift stores and collected plenty of measuring cups, and spoons and funnels.  The bottles I used for my dye concentrates are mayonnaise jars, salsa jars, and a peanut butter jar.  The first two types worked well.  The peanut butter jar leaked.  Now I know.  I prefer the glass jars, just because they just seem more stable.  We've been getting some large jars of olives at Costco, and I'm going to save those up for next time.  So I based the concentration of these solutions on the scientific factor of how much powder was left in the jars.  The resources I consulted indicated anywhere from 2 - 8 tsp. of power per cup of water.  I put in 2-3 of each I think.  I just saved enough in the jars for one more round of concentrates.

While working inside with the powders I wear eye protection and a mask, as well as gloves which I wear throughout the process.  I only opened the jars long enough to spoon out the dye.  The water was in the jars first, then I lowered the spoon down into the jar to dump the powder while limiting the amount that becomes airborne.

This is a view of my outdoor work area, looking down from the deck. The dark area in the lower right is where the steps down to the studio are, so it was easy to bring things up and down.  It's only about four steps from grade there.  I lined up the bins at first, but then decided to just keep them off to the right, and pick up one as I needed it.  The orange bucket contains my soda ash solution.  

Theses are the first three bins.  I used only pure Magenta, Yellow and Blue, to see how the unadulterated versions of those colors would come out.  There are three layers in each; a new piece of fabric is added after the soda ash is put onto the first piece and sloshed around.

I'll show my results when I get them all ironed.

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