Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Day to Dye For

Our Fiber Junkies group met yesterday at the home of Patsy Thompson for a day of sun and fun and dyeing fabric. It was a perfect day weather wise and also very productive. We had a little tutorial first with beautiful examples of where you can use procion mx dyes. They are a synthetic dye that work best on plant fibers (cotton, rayon, bamboo and linen) but also do well on silk. Here is a piece of felt that had the right fiber combination and took the dye really nicely.
Nancy showed us an example of how you can paint directly onto fabric treated with soda ash and dried with thickened dyes
and some beautiful textures in these fabrics.
Nancy scours thrift shops for "stained napkins", tablecloths etc. that people have gotten rid of. Look what she does with them

and some cotton hankies.
So next we moved outside to the designated dyeing area - Patsy's garage. We used plastic squirt bottles to apply the dye. I really liked this method of getting color onto fabric. I've always used a brush but this is easier and more effective I think.
We each had our own work table
and buckets for soaking "stuff" to dye, and when I say stuff I mean just that! There were threads, Pearl Cotton, felt, batting, rovings and a wonderful assortment of different fabrics.
Patsy demonstrated mixing dyes
and working outside on a piece of "hardboard" covered with contact paper, she showed us her magic. I love the way the colors bleed and spread into each other.

One of my favorite things was the bag of "clean-up" rags. Each piece the size of a fat quarter and treated with soda ash used to wipe up spills etc.
The "clean-up" fabrics were as pretty as the fabrics we dyed. As we laid the fabrics flat and worked, bubbles would form underneath the fabric creating the most interesting effect.

Often you would get very distinct lines from the edge of the bubble.
And here is the piece Patsy was demonstrating on; the colors have melted together.
Val was creating an amazing affect in the way she was applying the paints.
It was very dramatic
with great results when it dried.
We also dyed threads and perle cotton to use in hand stitching.
This is a piece of bamboo and cotton, a fabric I've been wanting to try and it took the dye beautifully.
This next piece was my favorite fabric to work with - Radiance by Robert Kaufman - 55% cotton and 45% silk. I was told it's best to work on the silk side which is shinier. The fabric is luscious and I was thrilled with the results.
It was a great day and very productive, so nice to have these play days with friends who love to do what you do.
And did I mention at lunch we had a cake for dessert. It was called "The World's Best Carrot Cake" and it was - doesn't get any better than that!
Until next time

No comments:

Post a Comment