Friday, July 17, 2009

New Lessons Learned (in dyeing that is)!

Okay---so I dyed yesterday and left the batch to "cure" overnight. Not quite 24 hours, but pretty close. This is what I learned this time:
1) The addition of salt doesn't appear to make a big difference. One batch I added salt to the soda ash solution and in comparing the results, the addition of salt doesn't appear to make the color brighter (it is suppose to make the fabric more receptive to the dye).
2) A "stronger" soda ash solution appears to help. One solution was made with 9 T. of soda ash vs. 4 tsp. The stronger solution resulted in much brighter colors.
3) I really do like the Quilter's cotton better than the 200 ct. muslin. The colors appear much brighter with the same soda ash solution. The downside is the the fact that the fabric will ravel. Since I DO NOT do applique, I don't think it will be a problem for me. If however I did more applique, the 200 ct. ( which doesn't ravel as much)would be preferred. I ordered some cotton that was recommended in my reading (Melody Johnson's blog) and will see how it does. I wanted to try Egyptian cotton, but I could only get 1 yard at Joanne's. It too is a tight weave, but I am going to dye 4 FQ's to see how it goes.

I also rinsed in HOT water, at least as hot as the tap provided. I had mentioned earlier that I was going to try cold rinsing, and Elizabeth suggested I not even try it---she was right. I did rinse in cold just to see, and could never get to the point where my water ran almost clear, unlike when I used hot water. I rinsed a LOT by hand BEFORE putting it in the wash to make sure color accidents are at a minimum.
4) I think the longer it is allowed to "cure" the better the color. Some of my dye solutions (the reds) were almost clear, indicating most of the color had gone into the fabric. So overnight it will be!

Here are my fabrics: The first is a primary rainbow made from fuchsia, navy and golden yellow. The two "extra" FQ's were made from left over yellow with just a couple of drops of navy; and fuchsia and navy (equal portions).

The second group is turquoise and orange. I started to get what appeared to be really dark colors and so I stopped thinking I was messing up. I shouldn't have. The browns are absolutely wonderful! Lots of mottling and shadows. These pieces would be great in winter sky or I see them with some of my greys/browns. I am going to do this again and not "chicken" out this time. The extras were from the left-over dye when I stopped mixing.

I am currently making a quilt with the first dyes I did---you can really see the difference in the quality of them and these. I was going to enter that quilt, but I think I will finish it, but make another using dyes from later sessions. It is clear I am getting a bit better at this.

BTW if you click on the pictures, you will get a closer look.

Hugs! Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff, Patricia!! Hope you are enjoying your time between school sessions.


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