Friday, July 17, 2009

Okay...I admit it .... I am a TBSP dyer....

Let me start today's post with a warning: These methods that I am posting about are those that I have worked out myself through my vast (read: limited) experience with dyeing fabrics, from attending one guild workshop and reading books such as, Hand Dyed Fabric Made Easy by Adrienne Buffington, which I recommend as a good general book with clear directions.

Ready???? Let's get started!!!

I discovered that one of the toughest parts about the dyeing fabric is the fabric itself. Not so much the fabric but preparing it and having it ready to go. Usually, I will prewash a bunch of fabric but what a pain to cut it up in pieces!!!!

So...my technique ...

marking my fabric at regular measured intervals

I take a permanent marker and mark either at 1/2 yard or 1 yard intervals on one selvedge and then just throw a big piece or two of fabric in the wash. This will avoid too many thread bunches (you know the big clusters that accumulate when washing fabric)

dyed threads from fabric

after removing the fabric from the wash.

I add 2 oz of Synthrapol to the wash...

measuring 2 oz of Synthrapol for the wash

throw the fabric in and go!

Next, you have to prepare the dye solution. I forgot to mention that a funnel is an extremely useful tool to have when you get to this step in the process.

I use milk jugs to hold the solution. I add 1/2 cup of salt....

a funnel is a good tool to have for adding salt and soda ash...

4 tsp of soda ash fixer....

4 tsp of soda ash fixer

and very warm tap water to fill up the milk jug.

add very warm water...

Give it a good shake with the top on to mix it thoroughly!

Then, when the fabric is nearing the end of its prewash phase, I begin to fill the jars or bags with this solution... about 2 cups per container....

add salt/soda ash/water mixture...

Hand Dyed Fabric Made Easy has some excellent charts on how much dye powder to add to each container. My own experience, to date, is thus that I do not fool around with one or two tsp of dye for very light colored fabrics since I like my fabric bright/dark/saturated .... I admit....

I am a TBSP dyer !!!!!!!!

but to each her/his own....

dyes

So with your face mask on (!!!), add your dye powders in varying amounts to your containers and you are good to go!

Also.... good to have on hand..... a permanent marker and masking tape so you can mark what is in your container (for example, 4 TBSP turquoise, or 2 TBSP green/3TBSP yellow, or 1,2,3).

have tape and marker for labeling...

Marking is good... ask me how I know!!!!

Also, mix well!!!! (ask me how I know!!!)

mixing turquoise

I use disposable sticks!

So now, you are ready... anxious to go and you have mounds of fabric that are prewashed... this is where those markings on the selvedge come in handy.

Take scissors to the laundry room, clip on the marking and rip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, you rip the fabric and it, surprisingly, rips straight!

ripping the fabric all ready marked with permanent marker...

If you want a fat quarter, you rip the half yard, fold that fabric in half, clip with the scissors and rip again.

Then, take your piece of fabric (scrunch it up well) and with gloved hands (make sure your gloves are clean!!! as you can see mine were not!)...

scrunch up your fabric...

shove it into the container....

add fabric to dye mixture in jar...

Voici ....

greens in a row

et voila!!!!!

bags of fabric in dye...

So while our fabric is 'cooking', I will go out and watch the thunder clouds roll by...

thunderstorm cloud

Have fun!!!!

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