Thursday, 27 April 2017

Holiday dyeing

I've been doing some holiday dyeing - which of course means the laundry and houswork are way overdue! I had some left over dye from a previous experiment, and wanted to see if it really was spent. So, a torn off bit of one of the endless "Connie and Harry sheets", soda soaked, folded and wrapped, the dye applied from the bottles it has been sitting in since I last used it - it all looked rather promising; lovely vivid shades, couldn't wait to unwrap

However, the dye really was spent, and most of it washed out - very pretty, but definitely not vivid; more delicately faded.

Christine's mantra is, "you can always stick it in a bucket of black" so, treating this as a test piece, out came the plumbers pipe and string and a bit of "sort of" arashi shibori. I'm not sure if I can really call it this, since arashi normally involves wrapping the fabric diagonally along the length of the pole. In this case I've placed it so the centre of the piece is over the end of the pole, folded it carefully down the sides, then spiral bound with thread. Into the dye vat it went - a mixture of turquiose, a touch of royal blue and black. I had hoped that the plastic bag on the end, firmly tied and elastic banded, would work as a cap to preserve the yellow centre but I may not have tied it tightly enough because the dye managed to soak through.

This is where I got to with stage two - notice how much more of the first layer of colour washed out with this second process. An interesting pattern though, and I'm learning all the time, but the delicacy of the inital image has been lost, both because of the first colour fading and because the second process has produced a much more definite pattern

I thought this looked a bit neither one thing or the other, in fact, a bit "meh" as my daughter would say so, back in the soda solution and on to stage three, and a stage one for a second piece of sheet - just to use up the second batch of dye

Refolded and bound in a similar way to the first process but this time with elastic bands rather than thread - they were harder to tie tightly, but I'm a bit wary of elastic bands!! Again, Christine's advice is; for multiple layers, using the same or a similar process allows the layers of colour to have some relationship with each other.

And the second piece of cotton, pulled out along its diagonal from corner to corner, roughly pleated and bound with thread, closely, criss crossed and more loosely as I worked along the length.

More dye applied, this time freshly brewed - and then the wait .....

Well, vivid has returned, and I think has integrated the arashi pattern better, it has more balance now - and the second piece makes me think of summer sunbursts and ice cream - I rather like it, and can see where the binding, tight or loose, has affected the pattern of the dye - more white where it was tightly bound - more learning

but what on earth to do with them both now?

I'm off to Studio11 tomorrow, so a bit of show and tell discussion might help.


  1. I'm giving it a try...

    1. Yayyy, it worked - hello Anny, welcome back :-)

  2. Ah, sorry, totally missed this ! Love all your tries !!!
    Looooove the colours ;-)

    (and now ? stitching ???)

    1. Aha, stitching - ummmmm haven't a clue. I took it to my textile class for suggestions adn we all decided I need to put it away for a while and think about it. I'm not being very good at keepng up with stitching (or blogging) at the moment - must try harder.

      I adore your little amulet pendants - you have such a lovely touch in your stitched pieces - very recognisably you. I'm still trying to develop mine!!