Monday, July 27, 2009

Folded Fabric

I had some left over dye and thought I'd try some folding.

I folded the fabric and painted the folded edges with the Light Red and dyed the rest of fabric with the Fire Red.

I am really happy with the patterning on the fabric, though I'm not sure how much it shows up here.

This really makes me want to try shibori.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fabric Alchemy

There is so much information on Low water Immersion dyeing, but so much of it is conflicting. I get the feeling that dyeing in this way is a lot like making a curry. Every family has their own recipe and way of doing it, none of them are wrong, and they all come out different with some of them more tasty than others.

The dye books and sites differ so much. Some recommend using urea, some say don't use it. Some use salt, some say never use it. the proportions of dye powder to water differ, the soda ash proportions differ and because you can't really get a true color from a swatch sample on the monitor you can only have a general idea of just what color their recipe produced.

So it's almost like dyeing is some secret formula you have to discover by your own experimentation. Like the alchemy of old you take the notes of others and experiment until you've created something magic.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fun day

The previous post I showed my not-quite-so successful attempt at some gradations.

I had started with four colors I'd purchased from Dharma - Fire Red (PR10), Light Red (PR12), Grape (PR17) and Imperial Purple (PR131). This was my first attempt at doing gradations and I did several things wrong, but I learned a lot in the process.

I did two sets, Light Red to Grape and Fire Red to Imperial Purple. I expected to get similar results from each with perhaps the second set just more vibrant. I had the Fire Red and Light Red from my time dyeing previously, so they were older dyes. I'd been told by Dharma they still should be good, but I honestly don't know if the results I got were due to the dye being older or if that's just the colors.

This is the light red to grape and it's showing a bit more blue than the actual fabric. This is pretty much what I had expected, sort of 'berry' colors.

However this is not what I thought I'd get from the second set.

The fire red (at the top), was much more 'orange' than red and so the colors were a bit more brownish when combined with the Imperial Purple (which had a strong blue overtone).

I messed up the proportions on the run and I don't think I let the fabric cure long enough in the soda ash solution. It was also a very hot day and I do my dyeing outside.

Since I had dye left over I thought I'd do a bit yesterday to both see if I could do the gradations better and maybe let the fabric cure longer. Because the Fire Red had been so orangey i t hougth I'd go from the Light Red to the Fire Red. Here's what I got.

I'm much happier with my gradation here, I didn't mess up the proportions. This set does not have either the pure Fire Red or Light Red but starts with a mixture of each. Again the monitor display doesn't show the rich coral colors that I got with this batch.

I'm really happy with the colors I got here, but a little concerned that I won't be able to easily reproduce them because I'm still unsure if the age of the dye powder changed things. I guess I'll find out in the future!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Long ago and far away...

Here's a bit of what I've been doing lately.

I had a rough bit of time and I pretty much dropped out of life. But, I am back now.

I just have to brush off all the cobwebs and get back to posting.