Friday, February 5, 2010

Dyeing to Dye

I might have uploaded these photos earlier in the week, but my hands and wrists are bothering me big time, so I've put this off until this morning.

Over the past week I low water immersion dyed repeatedly, trying different things each time, working on perfecting my method. The most critical thing I've found, is that you need to batch for 24 hours, or at least overnight. There are countless procedures floating around out there that say you can achieve good results in 2 hours or less, but in my humbling experience, it's just not true. So now that I know this, I've been overdyeing a few pieces in more recent sessions.

The two pieces above are from a parfait session, using rusts, deep orange/red, and browns. The first piece is overdyed muslin, something I originally dyed last weekend that turned out way too pale for my taste. The piece just above is really stunning -- it's 100% silk, handwoven by me from yarn samples I had from my supplier in Bangalore. I had tried rusting it last year but because the fabric is so thick, the rust process didn't work measurably. I decided to throw it into the mix this week and here's what I got! It has "slow cloth" written all over it!

The last two pieces are from the first session that was batched for 21 hours -- and I like these, although I'll change my process somewhat next time so the results suit my taste even more.

So there you have it. Have a good weekend. I'm hoping to start quilting on the couple of pieces I have ready to go. Although I've been in a designing mood all week, so I'll likely carry on blocking out another couple quilts for this month's challenges.


Deb Levy said...

beautiful Connie. I agree with batching at least 24 hours, I usually leave them for 48.

That silk piece is especially yummy.

Vicki W said...

When I process my dyes I make sure that the temp is at least 80 degrees. I did a test once with 4 identical batches and let them set for 2, 6, 12 and 24 hours - or something like that. I had absolutely no difference in the results. I think it must be because of the heat because I have heard a lot of people say their results vary.
I think it's just important that people figure it out for themselves. There are so many variables (fabric, water, heat, dye concetratation...) that people have to experiment with every variable.

Tiggy Rawling said...

Lovely cloth. I do agree that 24 hours batching produces much better results. It's a question of just waiting, and not being in too much of a hurry. Easier said than done. I try to persuade my students to just hang on in there - it's worth it. But there again, it is just too tempting to see results, pronto!

tiedyejudy said...

Well, I hate to be the lone dissenter, but I have had consistently great results using LWI and batching for an hour after adding the dye, and then an hour more after adding the soda ash solution. But I also concede that there aren't as many hard and fast rules as I originally thought. For instance, I have dyed using LWI before and after adding soda ash solution... both methods have reaped good results. Bottom line... best if we use the method we think works best!
BTW, I do love your results, Connie... more great fabric!

Gerrie said...

In the winter time, I batch in the furnace room because it is warm in there. Love the parfait dyeing.

frazzledsugarplummum said...

Gorgeous fabric especially the second handwoven piece.

Jan said...

Lovely to look at, processes are all Greek to me! Now I know what "slow cloth" is, but what's "parfait?" I know how to make one to eat, so are layering....cloth? dyes?

Approachable Art said...

Yummy yummy yummy.

Approachable Art said...

Jan, that's exactly it... layering cloth with dyes. :D

Judy said...

wow, those are breathtaking, especially the silk piece!
I have found that for me the temperature is the critical factor and, like Gerrie, I let my stuff batch for about 24 hours in my furnace room during the winter.

hope your hands and wrists are recovering