Tag Archives: Kona Bay Fabrics

It’s a Good Day to Dye

Mom and I decided to spend a day dying banners and veils we bought from Dharma Trading.  She bought Jacquard acid dyes because our fabric was silk/nylon.

One thing I learned from my last dying adventure, don’t place any expectations on your results.  While we did pick certain colors and hoped they’d be brilliant, dying is an art.  There is a science to creating the color, matching the appropriate dying technique, color type, or method to the raw material (fabric, yarn, etc.), it is rarely predictable.  So, don’t go in thinking, “I’m gonna dye this [insert object] to match [insert project] using this awesome aqua dye.  It’s gonna look just like the picture!”  NOT!

The best way to approach dying is with an open mind.  Think of yourself as an explorer, say Lewis & Clark or Thomas Edison.  Go in with a plan, but expect the unexpected and delight in what ever you discover.

A plan could include:

  • What tools will you use?
  • What technique?
  • What color is your base product
  • What color can you anticipate will result from dying over the top of your base color?
  • What are you  using the finished product for?
  • Do you need to dye raw material, then sew/knit a project?

Now, go forth and dye my fine feathered friends!  And send me links to your results.  I love to see how other people create different products from the same tools.

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Purple Fishies

2009 06 - Purple Fishies

I’ve been tweeting about dying fabric, specifically purple fish (fishies!).  I started out with this navy blue fabric (still hunting for the original pics) with orange fish on it.  Meh!  Not really my thing, but it was going to be a pair of pillow cases.  But, it got tucked in the stash and each time I pulled it out, I just couldn’t get inspired.

So, as part of my “use the stash” efforts (currently ongoing with the FiveS effort), I decided, “What the hell!  Life’s short, I’ve got some cool cotton fabric on hand with gold paint.”  So I picked up some Rit color remover and attempted to remove all color except the gold fishy outlines (they’re actually koi, but I think it’s funny to refer to them as fishies).  Um, no.  That didn’t happen as expected.

If you look at “Step 2” noted in the picture, you’ll see it’s kind of brown.  Oh boy, that did NOT thrill me.  It wasn’t even a nice earthy brown.  This is the orangy brown you get when you CANNOT pull all the color out of the fabric.  Overdying on this color produces muted and muddy tones.  Not the brilliant Tye-Dye like ones.

But, I pushed on.  I pulled out my Intense Violet Dylon pack and went to town.  The results, are in “Step 3”.  This was a natural fiber dye on a seemingly all cotton fabric.  But, what I realized is that this fabric wasn’t taking the dye fully.  It came out kinda pinky (which I expected), but much lighter.  So, I dug in my box of dye packets and found Violet iDye Poly.  Because, let me tell you, I was not done with purple.  Funny, because more than 2 years ago I was overdying a skirt and all I wanted then was purple too!

So after the Rit color remover and the Intense Violet Dylon and the Violet iDye Poly I’m left with is “Step 4”, dusty dirty purple fish which remind me of cool nights in the desert or of gypsy travelers.

More to come later when I actually turn this into something wearable!  I’m still pondering which side to use and it’s final purpose.  Who knows, it just may be a turban for MedFest! 😉

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