Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday's Results

Finally did a low water dyeing process yesterday that was worth the effort. The pic above is one of my two samples of that. This procedure used extremely low liquid on prewetted fabric. In fact, I intend to use even less dye the next time -- although I only used 1/4 cup of dye for a fat quarter. The soda ash was added after about 10 minutes, then it batched for an hour. Quick, easy, very light on resources. And the best that I did all week.

This piece I shiboried yesterday over a low water experiment from early in the week. Shibori really helps!

Sometime this week I learned a very important piece of information for using fiber reactive dyes, that I hadn't known about before ~ and now I know why trying to use the dye recipes I've used for years with acid dyes weren't working with the fiber reactives: the primaries need to be mixed in different proportions for fiber reactives. In other words, red is three times as strong as yellow, whereas blue is twice as strong. This applies to any red (including fuchsia), any yellow and any blue (including turquoise). If you were "raised" on fiber reactives, you undoubtedly already know this. But acid dyes are of equal strength, and that's where I started dyeing.

So, if I want to recreate an acid dye formula with fiber reactive dyes, and the acid recipe calls for 6 parts yellow, 1 part blue, 1 part red ~ the fiber reactive formula is 18 parts yellow, 2 parts blue, 1 part red. Every yellow part gets multiplied by 3, every blue part by 2, every red part by 1.

I did this very thing with the dark magenta I used for shibori yesterday, and the resulting fiber reactive color perfectly matched the acid dye swatch. Now I know how to make this work for me, and I have a huge color book of formulas I can recreate.


tiedyejudy said...

Wow! You are getting great results! Definitely less is better with LWI. I have to watch myself that I don't overdo. And pre-wetting is one of the great secrets, I think.
Interesting points about mixing formulas. I have always used fiber reactive, so would not have known how to mix acid dyes unless they came with specific instructions!
Keep on... you're getting beautiful results!

Gerrie said...

These are both gorgeous!

Sandra Rude said...

You've done LWI with acid dyes, right? I love the results more than LWI with fiber reactive dye. I get much clearer crystalline patterns with acid dye on vinegar-soaked silk. Still haven't mastered the fiber reactive LWI process, so I'm glad to see you're getting great results!

Candied Fabrics said...

Do you weight your fiber reactive dyes when you are making your dyestocks? In general red dyes are the densest and explain how much they take over in a dye bath. I love the texture you got in the grey/blue texture on the 1st piece!