Friday, November 2, 2012

Dyeing again

Since I am a little under the weather today, I am going to repost from a year old experiment, which seems to have lost it's photos, but which is relevant to my new project.

surface design - dyeing

I did a little dyeing, spurred on by  design matters videos.  Laura did some gorgeous dyeing and Linda used the fabric to make a small iris applique.
Serendipitously, the day before I watched the videos, I was tidying up and found a large pastel painting of an iris that I had been thinking about making into an art quilt.
As you can see, this painting is unfinished.  It also has a little kitty paw print at the top right if you look carefully, lol.  It was done a few years ago and was one of the last things I worked on at Painting.
It is nothing like Linda Kemshall's picture, being about 30 inches square and a different style, but hey I thought I would have a go.
The first piece of fabric I dyed was some cotton, about 2 metres. 
I used exactly the same method as I used here.  The only difference was that I scrunched it up extremely tight into a micowave safe pot.  I usually use glass, because I find plastic melts and wrecks the process and it allows me to check that the bottom fabric is dyed well (underneath).  I then poured the dyes on and made sure they went into the fabric folds by gently massaging.
Because I poured the dye onto the fabric, I could mix the dyes.  I just used a simple, yellow-red-blue sequence like Laura Kemshall did.
Obviously mine is quite different to Laura's for chemical reasons as I don't use the same dyes, but I did get some lovely mixing effects.  The shades are not quite right but the value changes are, so I will begin with these and tweak the shades as I go with some fabric paint and watercolour pencils.
As usual, I made too much red dye, so I also dyed up a batch of  cheesecloth/scrim
-with a little blue to make it interesting.
I also grabbed a pile of cotton scraps and did some greens to use in a landscape 
The green batch had a lot of variation in colour and texture.  This just a few of the scraps.  They were all different pieces of cotton, left over from lots of other things and each piece took the dye differently.  I was very pleased with this lot.  And my evening's dyeing was a great success.
Even hubby took an interest, using some of my left over dye to experiment with dyeing bits of wood.

As I said, this is an old post, whose pictures seem to have disappeared here.   I think I was using Flickr at that stage and off course, if you just have a basic account, as you add more pictures, once you get over 300, pictures disappear from the beginning.
You may see some old post cropping up as I edit them - I'm not sure whether they get reposted or not.

Happy creating!


  1. Wondeerful process post Vicki. The dyeing in jars is something I'm going to have to try for sure as soon as I get a wet studio.

  2. Lovely results. I especially like the greens.


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