Sunday, July 7, 2013

Gradation Dyeing With a Twist

I did have a question in one of my previous posts about what I do with all this dyed fabric!  Well, I do like to have a wide selection of colors to play with myself.  I used to sell quite a bit but found I didn't have any for myself so have selling on hiatus for now until I fell overwhelmed again.  I have never had much problem selling the fabric!  I used to be really good about not underselling people who earned their living this way but if I have to get rid of fabric, I will lift that personal ban and sell it for what it costs me to make it with no profit.  Like all dyers, I like to go through it periodically and think about what I will do with it!  I have absolutely no problem cutting into my dyed fabric.  The bigger problem is cutting into the 100's of pieces of marbled fabric that I have.  I like using the marbled fabric in clothing and think it will be great in purses but would love to come up with a way to showcase it in some wall hangings or quilts and haven't found just the right idea yet!

One of my favorite types of dyeing is what I call Gradation with a Twist.  It is basically keeping one color constant and then doing a gradation of a second color which  gives you a nice gradation from one color to the next.  In the above pots, I decided to do a gradation of Basic Blue from 6% down to about.02% and keep Fuchsia at a constant 1% in each pot.  You can see all the variety that you get in the pots above.  I did two  yards of each color and each of the pots is about a gallon pot. 

 You can see that the color varies from almost pure blue to almost pure fuchsia.  I didn't do the pure colors at each end which I sometimes do for comparison's sake.  Again I am amazed at how even the fuchsia is and am wondering if they have changed the basic dye from that I used to get years ago.  

I also did a nice rich red using 5% fuchsia and 1% Basic Brown.  I have always loved the reds I get when using this combination.  I did a bunch more different reds and overdyed some really hideous pieces I did at some other time -- one in particular was probably the ugliest fabric I ever dyed -- blotchy pinky brown.  I overdyed with fuchsia and have a nice piece of deep red with some lighter red highlights.

As I didn't want to waste even 1 tsp of the Mixing Grey that is no longer available, I loaded up the remaining Basic Brown and Mixing Grey into squirt bottles.  These were about a t0% concentration so pretty intense.  I then took all sorts of random pieces of fabric -- some that had been stained during other dye sessions and soaked them in a soda ash solution (1/2 cup soda ash to 1 gallon warm water) for about 10 minutes.  I then wrung them gently and scrunched them over the bottom of a plastic box that was about 18 inches by 30 inches.  I scrunched them so that they were about a one inch thickness across the entire box.  I then just squirted dyes randomly back and forth across the fabrics.  I then pushed the dyes around just a bit with my fingers.  Then I turned over gently all the fabrics and repeated the process on the reverse side trying to get a little color everywhere.  There was very little  dye sitting in the bottom of the box.  I just let it sit for about four hours like this and then washed it out.  As the fabric was soaked in soda ash, the dyes pretty much hit where they land and give you full coverage (no blotches) and minimal movement of the dyes (except when you have smushed them).  The above are just 1/4 yard views of much larger pieces -- I did about 8 yards of this.  

I now have almost 200 yards of fabric to iron!!  Looks like a great excuse to plug in Pride and Prejudice and sit under the fan in my bedroom and iron!  I am already thinking about what next.  Not shown are the many greens I also did using the Sun Yellow, Turquoise and Basic Blue.  I have found that I like just a touch of the Turquoise and Basic Blue together with the Sun Yellow so that it isn't so screaming bright!  I may play a bit with mixing Sun Yellow with just a little Golden Yellow to tone it down just a bit.


Sue Schoch said...

Would you consider an overall shot of all the fabric you're dying when you're done? I can't even imagine how much that would be. I love watching you dye and really like the idea of the gradation with a twist. I'll have to try that!

Vicki W said...

Your fabrics are beautiful, especially those textured black/brown ones. You should not feel any guilt for selling your fabric any way you want. It would be no different than me selling off my stash of commercial fabric at bargain prices just to get some of it out of my house.

Beth Brandkamp said...

Will definitely have a picture of the whole pile once it is ironed! It is going faster than I thought it would and I love looking at what I have accomplished!