Monday, February 14, 2011

Fabric Dyeing

Prep Work
I should start out by saying that I have no specific formula and that I wing it every time. However, if you are more of a planner/ note taker, it would be really easy to keep track of recipes, dye times etc. – that’s just not me. I also need to mention that I followed this formula from Melody Johnson’s Fibermania blog (The Lazy Dyer). Based on her instructions, I made my own dyes and went from there. What I like about her method is that she doesn’t use any harsh chemicals (besides the dyes). In a perfect world - the one where I have a money tree planted out back – I would use plant-based dyes. But in this real world, I use Procion Dyes.

I think these would make a lovely quilt.

I have a small house and I’m excellent at making a mess. However, I am able to do the dyeing in my kitchen. I bought some cheap containers from Five Below (2 med and 2 lg) and some Glad plastic containers. This gives me plenty of options while I’m working. I can get about 1yard to fit in the Glad containers. Depending on how dark I want a color, I will leave the fabric soaking from 15 minutes to over an hour. While the kitchen works just fine, the downside is that it’s harder to experiment, or at least a lot messier.

Dye Supplies/ Tools

When I want to get some really fun colors or just have fun playing, I dye outside. On my deck, I set up a card table that I cover with a cheap shower curtain liner. I pour my mixed dyes into squirt bottles and go at it. I have gotten some really beautiful results doing this. Since I am terrible about taking notes, I will never be able to replicate them – but that’s okay with me.

This is my favorite experimental piece.
 I'm thinking about framing it.
I think what I love about dyeing fabric is that you never know what you’re going to get. Like pulling a ceramic piece from the kiln, pulling the finished fabric from the dryer is as fun as the actual making.

Oh yeah, the fabric I use is Economy Muslin from Dharma Trading Co.

Fibermania’s The Lazy Dyer
Dharma Trading Co. (I find them to have the most reasonable prices for fabric and dyes)

~ Beth

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