You can see that the day turned out beautifully and the lawn was covered by our product by mid afternoon.
Well, it turned out to be a beautiful day and fairly warm so perfect for dyeing. We managed to go through another two complete iterations before some of us older folk were just too tired to proceed any further.
I took less risks with the colors I mixed today going with some tried and true mixes. I have moved so far away from mixing by volume measuring, it took some time to get the proportions right. I always measure by weight now in my dyeing as I like some predictability in colors (never guaranteed though).
There were definitely some lessons to be learned from the last two days which are as follows:
- You can get totally different results using the same pole, fabric and dye pot depending upon where in the dye pot the particular fabric falls. I had three pieces of fabric wrapped on a pole and the top piece was very different than the bottom piece. Cause: not enough agitation of the dye bath!
- Different fabrics act very differently when compressed. My pfd sateen resisted color far more than the Egyptian cotton in the same dye bath. Where I had clamps, it was actually white without dipping in water first.
- Just using plain old clothespins or clamps right on some fabric that you have sloppily accordion pleated and then folded will yield some wonderful results.
- Clamps on plexiglas in a group setting just don't work. Using rubber bands was easier on the clamps and a lot cheaper in the long run.
- Going a little heavy on the dyes in the dye bath will increase the likelihood that you will get better overall patterning in your shibori especially when you are using a big piece of cloth wrapped around a skinny pole. It is better to go a little lighter on the concentrations when using big fat poles as it is more difficult to get the good compression.
- You can shibori silk successfully if you compress well. We had many excellent examples from one of our dyers in the group who was willing to try anything.
- You can use a Bernina sewing machine to sew through many layers of fabric and actually prevent the dye from migrating into the center of the sewn piece; i.e. , if you sew a square through all the layers of an accordion pleated piece of fabric, you will have nice resist marks for the stitching but will also have lightly dyed squares all over the piece of fabric.
- Give a group of 10 creative women some color and fabric to play with, and you will have 20 new ideas by the end of two days and one heck of a lot of fun! We had some interesting experiences today and things that I learned!
The most favored colors were the navy blue and my blues mixes. I use the Procion MX Deep Navy which is one of the pure blues. I mixed up turquoise with the navy for one mix and mixed mixing blue, turquoise and intense blue for another. Also very well received were the two greens made with (1) intense blue and golden yellow and (2) navy blue and golden yellow. They yield nice earthy greens. My purple lovers loved the Pro Chem Blue/Violet and a purple made with their Deep Black and Fuchsia. I made a nice red with mixing red, strong orange, some golden yellow and a dash of mixing blue -- it was a deep earthy red. Everyone loved just the black mixtures as they would of course break down into their components and move at different speeds. Of course the yellows and turquoise do this as well.
Some things to remember:
- You need to clamp and tie pretty tightly to get effective patterning.
- Don't wrap your poles too tight or you won't be able to compress the fabric down.
- If you want more patterning and more white areas, soak your fabric for about 10 minutes ahead of time in plain water. The water will act as somewhat of a resist (depending upon the colors you are using). Turquoise and the yellows seem to wander just about wherever they want, regardless of how tight you clamp. Use this to your advantage.
- You can always discharge! Most of the time this is true; however, intense blue, golden yellow, fuchsia and turquoise don't discharge. Basic blue discharges to an ugly beige. (I use the ProChem color names -- one of my earlier blogs has a conversion for those who use Dharma dyes). Random dyeing like this is apt to give you some real "dye dogs" but they are opportunities for discharging, painting with paints, rubber stamping with paints and just plain overdyeing!!
These were Barb's from the second day. She had overdyed some of the fuchsias that she didn't like as well as one of the yellows.
These are two pieces that were created just with folding and clamping the fabrics. The top one is one of the blue mixes and the bottom is the navy and golden yellow mix.
This was the lawn where we were drying the fabrics before bundling them up to take home. Believe it or not, this is mostly my bunch from the second set of pots. Because Bev has well water, we decided to only rinse twice and then dry the fabric. This would ensure that no color leached between pieces (even though the Synthapol would more than likely have taken out the stain). The weather cooperated and pieces dried in probably a half an hour so while we were cleaning up, everything dried.