I have been dyeing since last Thursday.
Putting color on cloth is exciting and fun but hard work and it takes TIME.
The mx fiber reactive dyes by procion (purchased through Dharma Trading Co) work with soda ash and time. The will power to resist throwing every color available on the white fabric is mandatory and then the patience to withstand the impulse to check it or move it around in the dye is almost more than I can bear!!!
I stuck this fabric in a very large pickle jar and added red, orange and turquoise and then put the lid on and set it aside over night. The rest of these fabrics were pleated and scrunched up into plastic trays (shallow bins) and after the dye was applied, I covered them and left them alone until the next day. The resulting fractal and kaleidoscopic patterns are worth it!
Of course I have been reading everything I could get my hands on to prepare for this dyeing adventure. The tray method is discussed in a great book/dvd I found on Dharma's website by Leslie Morgan and Claire Benn titled Tray Dyeing and they have a very informative Blog called Committed to Cloth.
Getting set up is a huge part of dyeing and I bought wide mouth mason jars, squeeze bottles, dye, gloves, and fabric. I used jersey knit, silk/rayon velvet and quilt cotton yardage. I had very successful results and am so excited to use the fabric to create art quilts, garments and handbags!
I set up an Indigo pot too, using a kit by Jaquard and it was fun and I love the results. This was just dipped once for a pale shade of blue gray that I love. It took HOURS to put the rubber bands on the fabric!!
The fabric on the left is silk/rayon velvet and I tied (bundled) it with heavy perle cotton and that went a little faster. It causes a different resist pattern on the fabric and I left it in the indigo dye pot longer for a deeper color.
The velvet is light and soft and I can't wait to use it in a coat or dress!
After dyeing all the fabric I had purchased- 15 yards of jersey knit, 10 yards of silk velvet, 10 yards of quilting cotton I can say that I learned a lot and might over dye a few of the first cloths I did on that first day. (shown above)
I love the patterns made when you pleat the cloth and floating the dye underneath gets a very interesting result compared to scrunching the cloth and splashing the dye on the top.
You would think that my neighbors might come over after seeing my colorful fabrics strung up on the clothesline but they don't care! If they notice at all they must not be curious - they probably just figure I am one of many artist's living in Sarasota or maybe just some crazy old hippie with a penchant for colorful cloth! it's kinda funny to me- I think if I saw my neighbor with all this stuff on her line I would come over with a pie and make friends fast- but hey, I'm crazy for color!
I really don't care what the neighbors think anyway- dyeing cloth is way too much fun and so incredibly fabulous to sew with that I can't imagine not doing it again and again, no matter what! I can't wait to use it in a project!
I just wanted to share it here- hope you enjoyed seeing the results!
click on any of the photos to go to my Flickr site to see more of the fabric I dyed or just check out the set here.
Have a Happy 4th of July and I hope yours is as colorful as mine!!