Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Dyeing History

I admit that I love to dye fabric.  I would dye fabric all day long if I didn’t have to go to my job Monday through Friday.  I also admit that it doesn’t always come out the way I had planned, hoped, or expected it to!  But I am learning a lot all the time about dyes and the way they react with each other.

One of the first things I learned is that everyone dyes their fabric in their own way, and most of those folks tend to think their way is THE BEST.   I don’t live near anyone else who dyes fabric, so I had to learn from books—these are my favorites: 

Book 1 – Dyeing to Quilt by Joyce Mori - It’s absolutely fantastic for taking you through dyeing color wheels using three primary colors.  Simple, clear instructions, just what a beginner needs!  It’s out of print now but available used on-line.

Book 2 – Color Your Cloth by Malka Dubrawsky - A great resource for a beginner—the directions are very clear, and she also describes in great detail how to do batik and also discharge.  Great if you want to create patterns on cloth, as well as try out some fun techniques.   

Book 3 – Fabric to Dye For by Frieda Anderson - She uses some key colors to create her cloth, and shows how to make gradients and other specialized fabrics.

So I tried dyeing and made some great fabrics that I was happy with.  Then I needed a specific purple color, and couldn’t figure out how to get it.  I signed up for an on-line dyeing course taught by Candy Glendening at Candied Fabrics,  where we learned to dye these “Tables” using 3 different primary colors and the low water immersion technique:

It was kind of tedious at times, measuring out tiny amounts of dye through a syringe, and creating over 120 swatches.  We did a warm color set and a cool color set, and this class helped me SO much -- one of the things with dyeing is that there are so many different dye colors, and it gets expensive trying to buy all of them, so why not learn to mix your own colors, and technically you can dye any color using a combination of Red, Yellow, Blue, and black.  

I can definitely recommend this class to anyone who wants more control over their dyeing results—and it wasn’t expensive, especially when compared to attending a 3-5 day workshop in another state.  A very economical choice, and great for someone who hasn’t dyed before and wants to try it out, as well as someone who has started to dye but isn’t always thrilled with the results.

When you get REALLY serious about dyeing fabric, the more you learn makes you realize how much more there is to learn.   Recently, I bought Ann Johnston’s DVDs Color by Accident, a set has well over 4 hours of information on them, and it’s almost like being at a workshop.  The techniques are being covered during February over at And Then We Set It On Fire, check them out!

1 comment:

  1. Love these books as much as you do, great post!