Friday, May 30, 2014

What I Learned Hand Dyeing . . .Off the Wall Friday

So what have I've been up to this week??  Yep - still hand dyeing fabric - at least 30 yds of it!  Yep, you did read that right  - 30 yds - all fat quarters.  Needless to say, I think I've had enough hand dyeing for now. Enough colors, enough dirty dishes, enough rubber gloves  - just enough!

With all of that I did manage to learn a few things that you never read  about in the directions:

 1. Do your set up the night before you dye.  Put out the containers, pick out the colors, cut up the
fabric.  It will make it go a lot faster the next day.

2. Do all the cool colors one day.  All the warm colors another.  It will make rinsing and washing out easier.

3. Wash out all the dirty dye dishes at the end of the day (one dishwasher load should do it!)

4. Red solo cups have proven to be far easier to clean and sturdier dye after dye than plastic bags

5. Even when the fabrics soak in cold water over night, they still need three times through the washer to be thoroughly dye-free

6. Measuring spoons - Marked in big letters (color coded) and attached with a ring makes life a lot easier when dyeing gradations.

7. Following Dharma's directions on dye expectations are really helpful!

8. It doesn't matter how long you leave the dyes sitting in their cups - days, weeks (LOL - yes a week!) - they'll still turn out fine.

9.  Older dyes do indeed come out duller, but still are useful for muted color and over dyeing.

10. The search for a better rubber glove - one that fits right and won't break is still on going and essential.

I still need to try painting with thickened dyes but that will have to wait till later in the summer.  Between cleaning the studio, packing for QSDS and finishing up the dyeing I just wasn't up for anything new.

I will be blogging out my experience at quilt conference next week - so keep an eye out for that!

So what you been up to creatively this week?


Jenny K. Lyon said...

30 yards? I just can't bring myself to hand dye-love the results but that looks like so much work!

Christine Staver said...

Holy cow. Not sure I could do that much at one time or that I even have that much fabric to dye! Love what you have created and I could shop in your fabric closest anytime!

Hilary Florence said...

My you have had fun - and yes I can believe how easy it is to get to 3 yards - there is just always another colour combination/gradation etc. that you could try out! What really impresses me is how neat and tidy and colour coordinated your finished results are!

Nina Marie said...

Thanks everyone..remember I did it over a couple of weeks (about 5 dye days). Plus each gradation is 2 yds of fabric. My husband gave me 45 yds of pfd for Christmas and my birthday. But that all said,its much more physical than I thought. I was a bit stiff when I woke up this morning. I'm glad to take a break but will do thicken dyes and some shirts later in the summer.

Vicki W said...

I hope you will not mind if I interject something here. I've done a lot of testing to make sure my hand dyed fabrics are colorfast and I wrote an article about it. The article talks about bleeding quilts but it's the same process for fabrics. Three trips through the washer won't guarantee that they are colorfast. Soaking multiple times will. Here's the article if you want to read it.

quiltedfabricart said...

Wow! Oh the art quilts you can make with all this lovely fabric! Nice to have a stash like that :-)

deborah lyn said...

You are the marathon dyer! Looks fantastic and such color! Color! Color! Love your tips! best, deborah

Linda A. Miller said...

Wow what a project! And what a supply you have now! Thanks for sharing.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Oh man, that measuring spoon tip is priceless. Can't tell you how much time I've lost squinting at my white set of spoons to find the right one - so hard to read the sizes. Where does one find multi-colored ones like you have? Can't recall ever seeing anything like them.

Nina Marie said...

Vicki...with the lovely hand dyes you do and the amount of it you've done, you can always interject. However,I've gotten into the habit of ironing the still damp freshly dyed and washed fabric on a piece of muslin. Its a great way to check for bleeding. Not to mention I can tell by the hand of the fabric if there is still dye in it. I've only had bleeding when I soaked over night and washed Once the next day. When I put them through a quick rinse ... then washed with dawn, rinsed through two cycles,I've had the best luck.

Nina Marie said...

As for the measuring spoons, I think I either got them at the dollar General or Wal-Mart. I do know that when I saw them I thought OMG I need those lol.

Regina B Dunn said...

Holy Moly! you will be reaping the benefits for a long time. They look great.

Unknown said...

Excellent tips! Thank you for the details. I don't know if I will ever try this myself, but you are a true the solo cup tip. Your fabric is awesome. And, your husband is one of a kind to give you fabric at Christmas that you can experiment with all year long. that's pretty smart!

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