Monday, October 6, 2014

A day of dyeing..........

Friend Pat and I had a day of dyeing silk scarves and shawls. First they're washed, then soaked in soda ash, then fiber reactive dyes are applied, wrapped in plastic and they sit overnight to batch. The next day is rinse, rinse, rinse as fiber reactive dyes don't exhaust. I haven't see Pat's scarves yet as she took them home to batch and then rinse.

How's this for dramatic???
The shawls I had to dye have a burnout design on them - they're silk and rayon. I fell in love with the amethyst and blue wisteria dyes.

They take only 5 minutes to dry in this heat. Yes, we are back to summer, hot and dry, news tonight said the drought will be intensified through the end of the year - we were teased by that couple days of rain and cool least it got the fires contained.......but if we don't start getting fall rains fire season will never end.

How did I get so many scarves in these colors???  Some scarves will have a little surface design added to them using Shiva Paintstiks with stencils or rubbing plates.  It's hard to see in this picture but a couple of these scarves have very subtle color changes in them.

Here are a couple shawls - I was going for the ombre effect.

Love these rich colors

Very pretty

This looks weird in the photo but it's really pretty in person - nice autumn tones

I love the dramatic color change here
And here's that Blue Wisteria and Amethyst shawl again - love it
Next up was ice dyeing - we've never done it before so it was a learning experience
After the scarf is washed and soaked in soda ash it's put on a grid over a pan.,,,emphasis the pan or bucket as all that dye will be dripping off as the ice melts.  A screen would work better but I have tons of these grid pieces from my roving booth display so that's what I was using.....didn't want to go out and buy screening.

Pile the ice on high

Sprinkle the dye powder on top.  This is one of mine and I put too much  dye powder

This blue lavender one is Pat's - she put less dye powder which was better, as I said a learning experience.....I think perfect would be a tinge more dye than Pat used.

This is what they looked like the next morning after the ice all melted

And here are the finished ice dyed items. I should have taken close-ups because the patterning is incredible.  My favorites are Pat's blue lavender scarf and her silk top - she hasn't seen them yet as they had to stay here for the ice to melt. It's hard to tell in this photo but the designs the dye makes while the ice melts are stunning.

I've always been under the impression that the fiber reactive dyes are best used in 70 degree temps or warmer, while dyeing and while batching. So, how does ice dyeing work then??? Does anyone know?  And apparently it can be done in the snow too.

On a different subject - the van - we heard back from Dodge today and they're sending us a check for $500 of the $750 alternator repair - whoo hoo. Our position that it should have never happened to a vehicle less than 3 years old, 3000 miles out of warranty was justified.


  1. Fabulous colors! (and good news about the alternator)

  2. Looks like you've been having a lot of fun dying! I love the fringed ones with the pattern. Very pretty!

  3. I love ice dyeing - it's so serendipitous! Beautiful work!!


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