Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Silk dyeing

I've dyed the 13 yards of silk, which I cut into fat quarters. Used the same method as for dyeing cottons, with somewhat different results. The colors were different, although I'm never truly certain what I'm going to get with cotton, so how can I tell?

These first three piles are charmeuse, habatoi, and crepe de chine, but not necessarily in that order. I think some of these are going to be difficult to work with, being that they're very slippery and soft. This is no surprise to those who have worked with silk before, but up to this point, I have spoken cotton pretty exclusively.

This fourth picture is of raw silk. This required the most adjustments. The fabric was difficult to wet, it's very nappy, and it needs alot more dye than a similar length of the other fabrics. I got some of the weirdest colors in the raw silk.

This last picture isn't silk, it's the cotton broadcloth that I normally use. I cut off a half yard piece from the bolt and used it as a mop up cloth and put it into the slop bucket. Since I was only batching the silk for an hour, I knew there would be enough dye power left to get some good color and design. I purposely left out most of the reds since in the past when I have done this and included the reds the end result was an overpowering ugly red. By the time I added all the dyes to the slop bucket it was very dark brown. I dumped in some more soda ash and let it sit. Even when I rinsed it out it was still dark brown and I thought maybe I had overdone it. But here is the result, it's yummy.


Debra said...

The silks look lovely, and our mop cloth.. divine. I, too, have experienced that ugly red color that always reminds me of shop cloths.

Gerrie said...

Oh, I just love the hand-dyed silk. It is my favorite material to work with and because I fuse, it makes it easier to handle. those raw silks are just scrumptious. I have to try some.

teri springer said...

Like Gerrie, I like to fuse. The slinky silks just behave so much better when fused. However, I do like to piece with my antique kimono silks and I find a very very light interfacing fused to the back makes all the difference in the world.

I have 11 yards of raw silk to dye...will be interesting. I am anticipating muted colors since the silk is a pale tannish color.


If Nothing Else... said...

your colors are beautiful!
can i ask a technical questions? I've recently begun dyeing and paiinting silk using jacquard green label and acid dyes.

do you ever boil your silk in hot water? I know silk can shrink. I bought some silk scarf blanks for acid dying, but i'm wondering if the fabric will shrink. do any of you normally have this problem?