Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Tutorial in Hand dyeing Fabric Part 2

So I let the fabric "batch" (set up) till morning.  You can do it in as little as 3 hours, but the longer it sits the easier it is to rise out.  The dye starts to exhaust (break down) as soon as the soda ash is added, so its not like letting it sit longer will make the fabric any darker.

Jane taught us a nice rinse routine which I found really useful since I usually only do small batches of fabric at a time.  You separate the fabrics into colors - the warms, cools, and yellows.  The first rinse has a little bit of Dawn dishwashing soap to act as a surfactant. Then each grouping is unwrapped and rinsed with cold-cold water, then cold water and then hot.  Rinsing really entails you putting them into a small bucket to soak.  Since I was working out of my kitchen I just put a small amount of water into the double sink so I could do two groups at once.  It really didn't take much time at all to rinse out the dyes and by the third rinse (the hot one) the water was getting clearer.  I wasn't too worried about getting it super clear because I'm just going to redye them anyways.  Once everything was rinsed I just threw them into the dryer till they were almost dried and gave them a quick iron.  The picture just shows some of the samples but most came out interesting with plenty of white space.  You notice that my forest green didn't come out really green - rather it split into the blue it was mixed with - very cool but not unexpected.

Now you could stop there. . . .buttttttt. . . . why dye something once if you can dye it two or three times?  So I looked at the fabric and started folding it again.  Sometimes I just refolded it back into the pattern it was originally but not exactly.  Sometimes I put it into a whole new fold.  For these 12 fabrics I stayed away from rings because I think the lines will be more interesting in my art quilts.  Anyways - I once again folded them tight tight using plenty of rubber bands to hold them together and to add a subtle resist.

The colors of the day are iceberg lettuce green, grape, strongest orange, and torquoise (all pro-chem dyes).  When I picked the colors to redye them, I thought of the color wheel - choosing mostly analogous or complementary colors.  With golden yellow - you can chose most anything since its an easy match.  The hardest complementary is red/green so I stayed away from that.  This time I made up only a quart of chemical water.  Each color then had 1 cup of chemical water to a heaping half teaspoon of dye.  Notice that as I go through the dye cycle the dyes will get more.  I still didn't use all the dye mixtures but at least I didn't waste as much as yesterday.  I gotta remember to get fabric ready to batch up in a brown (adding all the left over dyes together).   Anyways they are out in the sun batching now!  I'll let you know how they come out!


QuiltSwissy said...

Thanks for this inspirational kick in the pants. I need to get back into dyeing. After this show gets hung, hopefully by Saturday, I can play again!

What will u do with these?


Carol A. Babineau said...

This is getting my "need to dye" juices flowing.
One question...............if you leave the bundles in the dye rinse water, does it require a hand wringing out for a rinse out?

I have left fabric overnight in a bucket of water and they came out fine the next day, without lots of wringing.
I'm trying to avoid that part, still.

Nina-Marie said...

Yeah I don't wring out my fabric - just squish out the extra water. Today though I'm sticking some in the dryer 'cause I want to dye a few of them - again! LOL! Still not satisfied! I'll post the results when they are totally complete. This method was so easy though!