Friday, April 23, 2010

Dyeing, Dyeing, Not Done Yet.....

Another few days of experimentation! I am trying to amass a selection of tans and browns for the upcoming lions! I sold off the snowdyes that I had created in anticipation of this which is okay. I am trying also to use up my existing dye powders as some are ten years old!! (I must add that I keep them in a cool dark place.) A lot are two to four years old and yes, they work fine but are a bit lighter than before but that is probably better as I have a heavy hand when it comes to dyes!

My plan was to do several gradations using Pro Chem's Basic Brown (one of the very few mixed dyes I use) in combination with yellows and oranges and reds. My gradations are 8 steps and result in OWG of 10%, 5%, 2.5%, 1.25%, .62%, .31%, 1.5%, .o75%. I basically start with 2 cups of dye solution that contain 20 gms of dye powder (about a tbsp and a tsp), dump one cup into the first pot (with one yard of 100 gm fabric), add a cup of water, dump one cup of that into the second pot etc, etc. I have gotten the overall process down with very detailed instructions.

My variation is adding a second color in different concentrations into the pots which will give you the kind of variation that you would see in Carol Soderlund's "rows" or "columns". (I highly recommend her classes for those dyers who want to get serious about color and predictability. You can do this by yourself, however, this would save you months of experiments and gives you a wonderful record of colors at the end.)

I also had a new "pure" dye to play with so had to do an initial plain old gradation using that. It is the "Burnt Orange" from Pro Chem and is is a kind of rusty orange in its darkest iteration and a pleasant toned down (almost fleshtone) in its lighter values. The above picture is the Burnt Orange gradation. I have decided not to overdye it as I do like the color a lot. It is not one of the "stronger" dyes but I can see a difference between the 5% and the 10% concentrations.

I then tried two more gradations -- one with a gradation of Sun Yellow values with the addition of 2% Basic Brown to each "pot". The other was a gradation of Mixing Red adding the 2% Basic Brown to each pot. I loved the Mixing Red/Basic Brown gradation and the Burnt Orange. The Sun Yellow with Basic Brown gives a gold that has a bit too much green in it in the darker values but it is a learning tool.

This is the Mixing Red gradation with the brown. I loved the deep reds I got with this (basically a 10% mixing red and 2% brown and a 5% Mixing Red and 2% brown.)

This was the Sun Yellow gradation with the brown added. It is even more hideous in person as the browns all look green and there is very little variation. These are all going to be overdyed with red today!!

This, however, is the gradation of the week old solution of golden yellow adding only 1% brown this time. I am liking this one a lot.

I only had a couple of yards left so the top one is 2% Burnt Orange and 2% Basic Brown and the bottom one is 2% Mixing Red and 2% Burnt Orange. This looks rather like the scarlet dye I have gotten from Pro Chem in the past.

As we have been talking about moving south permanently, I figure I will get all my fabric dyed (if you remember, I have an obscene amount of pfd fabric) and use up my dyes and paints as best I can. Of course you always run out of one before the other and have to purchase the other, etc, etc! It is amazing how much dyeing I can do in a short period of time so using up even that obscene amount of fabric should be easy!
I separated another 50 yards of fabric last night into dyeable portions!


Chris Daly said...

Yummy Gradients!!!

Vera Matson said...

I just found your blog posts on dyeing and I wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience! I've dabbled in dyeing once, and when the temps rise again, I'll give it another try.

Claudia said...

Thank you so much for sharing invaluable information. I dye fabrics for my own use. I love to experiment and you have given me lots of ideas.