Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Little Nature and Some Ice Resist Dyeing

I have been seeing a lot of the Cabbage Whites lately.  I spotted a couple of other butterflies but a little early yet for the onslaught.

We have been sweltering here as has been most of the East this week.  Good thing we got new air conditioning last summer!  It is like a steam bath to go outside -- I have noticed that it is no worse in NC than here this week.

I have noticed this damselfly a lot lately but haven't been able to identify it.  It is mostly blue/green with large red eyes but I don't believe it is a red eyed damselfly.  Any hints, anyone
The everblooming begonias have been overtime just covered with flowers continuously the past month.  Pictures just don't do the colors justice.

The hibiscus has been gloriously happy as well and we have several new varieties including this one.

Another new one -- all yellow.

Our older red and salmon colored ones have bigger flowers and more flowers than I have ever seen on them.  The weather is definitely agreeing with them.  Our perennial hibiscus should be out soon and those flowers are dinner plate sized!

This is a piece of fabric created by ice dyeing.  The only difference between this and the snow dyeing I usually do (besides the obvious substitution of ice for snow) is that I have used powders rather than the liquid form of the dyes.  Ice resist dyeing  is the perfect thing to do when your temps are in the 90s! 

The process is pretty simple and I will have some pictures tomorrow of intermediate stages as I am doing some t-shirts now.  I basically get a plastic box and balance a  cookie rack solidly over it.  I soak a couple of yards of fabric in a soda ash solution (1/2 cup soda ash to 1 gal water).  I then scrunch it to a thickness of about 1 inch across the rack.  I then cover the scrunched fabric with ice chunks -- I prefer slightly smaller ones than the ones out of your ice cube tray so purchased a 20 lb bag for $2.99 which has gone pretty far so far.  I try to have all the fabric covered  with the ice but it is hard at the edges.  I then take about 1 tsp of dye power / yard and spread it as evenly as I can across the whole top.  A dust mask is a definite need at this point.  I like to use mixed colors rather than the pure colors as they move into the fabric at different rates.  I let the ice melt which takes 2 or 3 hours.  My next step is different from others in that I then take the fabric and nuke it for about 4 min/yard making sure it gets nice and warm.  The reason I do this is that blue won't take with just the cold and needs a little heat.  Many snow and ice dyes have found this out the hard way!!

The fabric is really a lot prettier than in the photo -- there are more subtle colors in it.  I used just Pro Chem's Basic Brown and Black 904 to get this.

1 comment:

Bettina Groh said...

what an interesting process to try!!! Tjank you!