Friday, July 6, 2012

The Newly Dyed Fabrics Part I

Well, my right thumb won't allow me to iron anymore!  I think it is from squeezing the trigger for the sizing I use when ironing my very wrinkled dyed fabrics.  My husband has been helping my daughter in NC, so I took the opportunity to do some long neglected dyeing as I have squirreled away a LOT of fabric for dyeing.  This time I used mostly the Egyptian cotton that I had bought tons of from Joanns (they don't seem to sell it anymore so glad I bought a lot).  It is like a pima cotton but a little lighter weight.  It takes the color very, very well and I suspect has a teense of sizing in it ever after being pre-washed in Synthrapol and soda ash as it dyes more evenly than my pfd fabrics although still gets the deep color.  This gradation is one of an old (2003) Mixing Grey from Prochem (no longer made but one of my favorites).  You can see that age hasn't hurt it.  I do get about the same color using 2 parts Deep Navy and 1 part Strong Orange.  The deepest gradation here is about 6% and goes by halves down (3%, 1.5% etc.).

This is the gradation of one of my very favorite "pure" colors -- Prochem's Basic Blue. Like turquoise, it is not a dark color but is the only one of the blues that tends to red rather than green (there is no such thing as a pure color -- blues will either tend to red or green, reds to yellow or blue etc.).  The camera bleached out the color of the top ones a bit as they are a pretty sky blue.

This is a gradation where I took a 2% solution of Basic Blue and added a gradation of mixing red which started at 2% in the darkest and then decreased by halves (1%, .5% etc.) so the lightest is mostly the 2% Basic Blue.  Doing this kind of gradation really mirrors somewhat the rows or columns in the Carol Soderlund books.  Keep one color constant across the gradation (same amount in each) and vary a second color.  You can also do "dueling gradations" where you start at either end of a group of fabrics adding the dye to do the gradation first in one direction and then starting at the other end, do another gradation.  You get some wonderful variety here but need to start with relatively balanced colors (ie, if mixing yellows and reds, start with much more concentrated yellows than reds).

Here are two gradations which won't be ironed for awhile.  To the right is a gradation of Black 608 from Prochem.  It was very old dye powder and I think the yellow part of it must have drifted to the bottom as the gradation was basically a mauve gradation and bore little resemblance to black!  To the right, is a gradation using the same black but using it half and half with Basic Brown.  If I had realized how mauve the 608 leaned, I probably would have u sed something else.  I love the deep earthy browns you get with this combination and used a lot of the lighter shades in the lions I did.

This is the pile from the Extreme Overdyeing exercise.  I started with five pots containing  3% Basic Blue, 1% Deep Navy, 3% Turquoise, 2% Intense Blue and 3% Navy.  I then overdyed with 3% Turquoise, 3% Navy, 3% Intense Blue, 3% Sun Yellow and 3% Lemon Yellow.  From this I get 35 combinations.  I wanted to see the interactions of the different blues to see if there were some combinations I really liked.  I also needed some blules to round out my stash.

I need to fill in my matrix with the results and will publish that in my next blog.  I should add that I was using dye powders that were no newer than 2008 in most cases with the Basic Blue being nine years old.  These might be a bit lighter but not bad!! I do keep my powders in air tight containers in a dark cool basement though!

1 comment:

MarthaVA said...

Wow! I will never have the aptitude to do that kind of dying but it must be GREAT making your own fabrics! Well, coloring them at least.