Monday, February 1, 2010

What's wrong with shortcuts?

I've been dyeing scarves using Alter Ego dyes for a couple of years now and in the fall I started having problems with spots on the scarves that wouldn't take the dye. I had prewashed them in Synthropol and Soda Ash which is supposed to remove oils or dirt that would inhibit the dye from sticking (such a great technical term) to the fabric. This weekend I started dyeing again and right away all the scarves in my first batch had spots. I rewashed and redyed and still there were spots. By now I was starting to complain about the quality of the scarves. But of course, in the end, it was me all along. Somewhere in the years I've been dyeing, I had started using my own little shortcuts which is never good for me. This time it was the cause of my spots --- or at least most of them. The instructions tell you to stir for the first five minutes they are on the stove, but of course I had decided that a couple of stirs with the spoon was good enough. Not true in this case. Now after dutiful stirring for the full 5 minutes before going on to the next scarf, I am happy to announce that the spots are no longer a problem. Do you think I learned my lesson?? Probably not.

I am always searching for devore scarves in different patterns and on eBay I found a woman who was selling these scarf blanks in a pattern that I had never seen before. I just dyed my first batch and they are beautiful. And even better, they are a different size -- 20x60" so they are a really nice size to throw over your shoulders and arms. Now if I can only find some other different designs. I've used all the ones that Dharma Trading and Exotic Silks offer so if anyone knows of another source for devore scarf blanks I would love a recommendation. Photos of these scarves to come later.



sonja said...

could you thicken your dye and paint the spots different colors? or can you over dye ? Just a painter's thought while brushing my teeth this morning.


Kathy said...


I can and do overdye the spots but it seems like a waste of dye and time. Sometimes they never go away so I guess thickening some Procion and painting on the spots might work. Hadn't thought of that. Being lazy, I'd like them to dye perfectly the first time.