Dye Day!

Finally! Writing a list is a good thing. I told myself this would be dye week, and so it happened. The biggest thing was that I had to mix all my stock solutions in the correct way. Which means weighing out the dye. I make a 2% solution, which means I have to weigh out 10 grams of dye powder for 500 cc of water. It all actually went fairly quickly. I still have some of my dye recipe books from my long ago “career” of making fiber blends for people.  I chose some of those recipes to use, and others I just experimented with. I use ProChem Sabreset dyes. They dye all protein fibers, and they have good light fastness.

I wanted to dye some silk organza. I cut four yards into quarter yard pieces. That meant I had to come up with 16 different colors for them. It also basically meant 16 hours of dying time. Yes I have more than one pot. But you know what I mean.

Anyway, it was pretty much two solid days of dying. Things I did in-between: I washed two dogs, I painted my toenails, I read a little of Gene Shepherd’s dye book, and I played Mahjong and Solitaire on my Kindle Fire.

I did do a little search on ProChem, (they have great tutorial worksheets on their website) and found that you should only heat silk to 185 degrees, otherwise you can ruin it. When the silk comes out of the dye and dries (haha, that organza dries fast!) it is all crispy and crunchy.

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After ironing it, its soft and silky.

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I also over-dyed a bunch of off the bolt/previously dyed wool that I acquired this year. About 10 half yard pieces. I’m very happy with how they came out. The two dark ones are a version of “antique black.” They were dyed on some kelly green wool.

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I also like the purply ones. The original wool was a fairly bright light purple. It was the last wool I dyed, and I was running out of ideas. So I just dumped black, royal blue, and violet dyes on them.

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I haven’t even gotten to the nice white wool I ordered. But that will have to wait for another week. Dying is exhausting 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Dye Day!

  1. Oh my they are all so beautiful. Makes me want to dye again. But I have only catchment water so will have to wait for the rainy season which here in NW Oregon shouldn’t be long now.

  2. Dye day reminds me of old times, when they used to gather ’round the boiling pot and dye fabric (indigo, I think?) to use for their hand-sewn clothing…yes I read a lot of Laura Ingalls Wilder, why do you ask? 😉 But I remember noting that it was a lot of work back then, and it still is a very labor-intensive process – but oh how beautiful your work turned out! Heck, I’d just hang the lot like they are above a window as an ethereal valance.

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