Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dyeing and having fun.

I had a wonderful time yesterday playing with colours. In Frodsham for a Dyeing Day organised by NWCQ, we were being taught by Sandra Wyman. She talked about Procian dyes, and showed us all; how to use them. There were fourteen of us, quite a large group, but Sandra's instruction sheets were really informative. She was also able to talk us through each activity. Just as well, since I had never used this type of dye before.

Sandra provided the dyes, soda solution and a pack of fabric samples and threads. We could also purchase a pack of cotton fabric ready for dyeing.

I came home with a large collection of mysterious plastic bags.

Too tired to do anything last night, I set to work this morning washing out all the fabric and threads I had dyed. It was so exciting to see how each piece had turned out.

This first group was the result of my colour gradations experiment. I used a buttercup yellow dye and was thrilled to find these lovely pieces had been the result.

This next series is the result of the colour gradations, where I mixed a blue-black dye with the buttercup yellow. Aren't the colours amazing? I love those greens. Thank you so much Sandra for suggesting using the blue-black. I had asked her advice since I wasn't sure which blue I should use.

This amazing piece is my tray-dyed piece. We had to crumple the fabric in a tray and then pour the dye over the fabric. So exciting to find this piece of fabric coming out of it's plastic bag.

These bright fat quarters are the parfait dyeing result. Some dye and its soda solution went into a small tub followed by a crumpled up piece of fabric. After a little wait, the same amount of dye and soda solution went into the tub followed by some more crumpled fabric. This was repeated another couple of times until there were four pieces of fabric

This is the parfait just before I washed it. What amazed me, was that I had started with a mid yellow colour, then added a pale yellow, following this with red. The red was watered down. I used less than half the dye I used for the other colours making up the quantity required with water. The reason being that Sandra had mentioned that red was a very strong dye, and I hadn't wanted it to take over too much. It was really exciting to find that the red had dropped to the bottom of the tub like this, and that the yellow had risen.

The threads look rather a mess on my washing line. I had dyed them different shades of yellow. The green appeared when some blue dye accidentally leached out into my large yellow tray without my spotting it. I love the accidental tint of bright green which has appeared.

My threads now look like this:

They have all been wound onto spare cotton reels. Did I mention I seldom throw anything away?

The last set of fabrics were these - the samples of fabric. These included cotton gauze, viscose satin, silk taffeta and silk/viscose velvet.

My favourite was definitely the velvet. It turned out so beautifully........

Here they all are on my line this morning.

I think what I also found really exciting was the unexpected delights of accidental dyeing.

The sheets on top of my sketchbook are the kitchen paper sheets I used to mop up. I just love those colours.

Since the paper had looked so lovely, I decided to use a dye catcher sheet to mop up the tiny scraps of dye left inside the yellow tray I carried everything home in.

The result didn't disappoint.


sandra wyman said...

Great to see the fabrics - glad you enjoyed it!

Mandy said...

How lovely to hear from you, Sandra, and it is so nice of you to stop by to see my fabrics. Yes, I really enjoyed the day and learnt a lot. Thanks so much for making the day such a very interesting and rewarding one.

Keltia Crafts said...

You have a wonderful collection of dyed fabrics and threads, Mandy. Procion dyes are wonderful to use, the colours are so vibrant. I use them to dye all my threads and fabrics myself.

AmosSews said...

What lovely fabrics. You'll really enjoy using them. It sounds like you had a great day. My neighbours used to comment about my washing line of dyeing but have given up now! You've got me thinking about getting the dyes out.

Jenny said...

What a fun time you have had. Seeing them all dry on the line they look fabulous.

Mandy said...

Hello Ruth, thanks for posting a comment. What a beautiful piece you have on your current Blog post - "Geological formations". It is stunning. Yes, I can see that the procian dyes really do make a difference when a particular series of colours are needed.

Mandy said...

AmosSews, I really enjoyed visiting your Blog. You have some delightful neighbours in the neighbouring field. I wonder what they would think of a washing line full of freshly dyed items. Tahnks for coming to visit my Blog.

Mandy said...

Hello Jenny, how lovely to hear from you! Oh yes, we had a lovely time playing around with all the dyes. I'm really looking forward to using the fabric in different projects.

Barbara Cheeseman said...

Now that is just what a washing line ought to look like! All those lovely bright colours are very cheering!

Mandy said...

Thanks Barbara, yes the colours were really cheerful and bright. A visitor stopped and commented on how nice the pieces looked. I do so love bright colours.