Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'm dyeing...

fabric, that is. My stash is woefully short on pastels. Of course, that's not by accident since I tend to favor the rich, deep values. Plus when I dye fabric I tend to put a lot of concentrate into the fabric. My previous technique for dyeing pastels consisted of dyeing the fabric and then bleaching it out. Very inefficient, not to say a little hard on the fabric.

In order to counteract my tendency to over color, I mixed the concentrates very weak. Ann Johnston uses 2 T of dye powder to 1 cup of water. Then to dye pastels she only uses 1 teaspoon of the concentrate. I used 1/8 teaspoon of dye powder to 1 cup water. Now I can use lots of the concentrate and not worry about the fabric getting too dark.

I used 16 different dyes (if a little is good....) and dyed 10 yards of fabric. True to form I used nearly all the yellow and have lots of red and blue left.



I think I did pretty well, and there are some good pastels in there. Some are a little too dark and I'm not real fond of that pink on the left. Maybe it will get more dye tomorrow.

I also wound some size 12 pearl cotton into skeins and will dye them tomorrow also. I've heard that some people can actually sew with the size 12 through the needle in the sewing machine, but I've never had any luck with that. It makes great thread for big stitch hand stitching - wonderful accents and you can actually see the thread. Subtle is not me.

5 comments:

Gerrie said...

So yummy! I have to dye silk for my commission piece. I am hoping to have a better place in our new home in Portland. CA houses don't have any basements!

Liz said...

Nice...

I usually just use the nearly-exhausted dye from the first batch to make pastel shades (well, actually, I just keep going and going till there's none left!!).

Lisa Call said...

Nice - looking forward to seeing how you use them!

Valeri said...

Lovely colours - just like sugared almonds.

Helen Suzanne said...

Hi Cathy, Can I ask what kind of dyes you use?. I'd like to experiment.