Monday, May 7, 2012

Dyeing Explorations.....

As I wrote in a previous post, I have begun playing around with dyeing threads again. I took a class on "wool" dyeing many moons ago in an effort to get them to translate to dyeing my own threads. I got the basic concepts well enough but it really did not satisfy me when it came to working on my own. I finally have figured out that I was simply using the wrong dyes for the process. There are many more things that I am working on finding out before I can achieve some of the more variegated threads that I see others using. I can do single color and two color threads. Below is the latest batch of threads that I have "over dyed" from a long ago experiment gone wrong.

The original thread was an indigo blue that was the result of the red dye washing out completely from the purple that I was trying to achieve. Above you see the first one was one that I left in for way to long to achieve the color I was looking for. Yes, it is a beautiful rustic mauve color but not exactly what I was looking for. The rest of the threads were left in for no more than 2 minutes to achieve the purple that I have been looking for. The thread colors are not uniform within the skein but that adds to its character. I have in mind to make some hatbands from this thread at a future point. 

The skein that I did the other day:

This one was a double immersion where I suspended the skein half at a time in a jar of dye. Who knew that skewers could be so useful in this process. I will most likely turn this skein into either a narrow hatband or a flower to use on a hatband. 

For small batches and quick and dirty dyeing, RIT dye does work well on plant fiber threads. For hand painting thread I will need to go to something like Procion MX dye for a different sort of processing. This will require me asking hubby to order various dye powders and fixatives so that I can move on to the next step in this process.

I am still working on getting answers to some of the questions that I have about the process of hand painting thread with multiple colors. I will post as soon as I have the answers straightened out in my head.

Guess I am off to clean up my work room to find my skein winder so I can do bigger batches and have a much cleaner place within which to work on my tatting projects. 

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie