…. but I have been busy. I have a new project, but I can’t show it to you yet.
However, I can give you a glimpse of what I dyed yesterday….
It’s only a glimpse and will mean nothing. But later this month (or maybe next) it will be incorporated into something. It was doubly exciting to dye because I tried a new experimental technique. I’m really surprised and delighted with the results, so will be working on it a bit more to streamline. What fun!
Stitched using strips from a single dye sequence.
I have to admit that these are particularly scrummy in real life. No hints as to the colours used, well, not yet anyway. Suffice it to say it’s a mix of both synthetic and natural dyes. I’m really pleased with the result.
I’ve used scraps from the dyeing session to make some little boots for an Advent Calendar. I’ve used one of them for the following pictures. I always find it fascinating to see how different fibres take the colours.
Some of you will remember this piece of fabric
Those of you that are seeing for the first time need to know that it is cotton fabric, and was dyed in November 3 years ago. It underwent a variety of stages during a dyeing weekend, during which there was much fun and laughter. Everyone produced some stunning fabrics, and it was decided that this one would undergo a transition. So, here it is – transformed!
Right, this is what happened. Once dyed, rinsed, washed and ironed it was duly folded. A comfortable place was sought, and there it remained for a whole year. It then spent another year in the same place, but now partially covered by a sketchbook. Last November the sketchbook was removed, and now you are seeing the final result.
Not a very scientific experiment, but it does prove a point. I left it in the conservatory, in full sun whenever there was any, and as you will see, something definitely happened.
Here is the folded piece. You can see how much lighter it is around the edges, the part that was exposed for longest, but there is still a good amount of colour in the middle, the area covered for part of the time.
However, from this picture you can see that the ‘sketch booked’ part has lost colour, even though it missed a year of sun
This closeup reinforces the extent of the sun bleaching.
Where did I go wrong this time? The heartfelt cry from a student.
It’s so important to mix dyes properly. The dark blotch at the top is as a result of a bad mix with large clumps of dye that just stayed on the fabric in one place. Some colours need more work than others to produce an even mix. A good mixing technique is important.
This is an answer to a student’s question. There are a number of white areas in this piece of fabric. If you are preparing for an overdye it could be a good starting point, however, if you were expecting a lovely overall colour it’s a disappointment. How could it happen? Well, there are a couple of reasons, but it could be because there just wasn’t enough water to allow the colour to flow through the fabric. Cramming fabric into a tight space can produce lovely results, but sometimes it’s just a little risky.
Not a drop is wasted.
Dry it, use it to mop up a few more spills or drips, then eventually it will be overdyed – and the result will be utterly delicious.
Isn’t dyeing fun!
These colours don’t give anything away at all. I’m going to keep you guessing! However, you will see the result in future stitching here.
I have posted this image elsewhere on the web today too. It’s part of a series, and it isn’t really due for full revelation until 2014. However, it is pertinent to playing with dyes, so I thought I’d post it here too, today. If you follow the link you will see that you can follow the progress of this and others too. As it builds the collection can be seen here.
Some of the photographs were taken in very bad light. They haven’t been corrected or manipulated – the ones you see are all that you will get for the time being. Their quality doesn’t matter. All that matters is that this project is continuing, and with each day it becomes more exciting from my point of view. There will be a partial unveiling next year. More news of that will come when a certain point is reached.
Sometimes mixes of dyes are even richer than you remember. I used recipes from a previous session, and I’m really pleased with the result