Friday, May 25, 2012

Major Dyeing

I been wanting to dye 10 yard lengths of fabric to sell at Quilt Hawaii. I will roll the fabric on a bolt and customers can unroll the entire bolt and choose which part of the fabric they want to buy. I did this a couple of years ago and it was really successful.

I started by thoroughly wetting the 10-yard piece in hot water. Meanwhile, I set up 6 large containers in a larger tub (just to minimize the mess and make it easier to move if it started to rain). 

Then I mixed two cups of dye for each container. I've been using this blender to mix the dyes. It is so much easier and I never have "freckles" of undissolved dye.   I used a different color in each container starting with yellow and moving to turquoise, azure blue, and then three different greens. I wanted the colors to be pretty intense when they dried so I used 1 tbsp of dye powder in two cups of water for each container.

Once each container had two cups of dye, I took the fabric out of the water (without squeezing out the excdess water) and divided it into six piles, scrunching it loosely.The idea was to put each section into a different dye container with a little bit of a bridge between each container.  I only submerged a small part of the fabric because I wanted the dye to seep upward on it's own. 

While this was happening, I mixed another two cups of yellow and two cups of turquoise.  I pushed the fabric further into the continers and poured yellow and/or turquoise on part of the undyed fabric until all the dye was in the containers.

I waited maybe10 minutes and then poured out some of the dye that was still in the bottom of the first container. I took this dye and poured it onto any white areas of fabric in the other containers. I continued to do this with all the containers until I didn't see any white fabric.

I then mixed another two cups of yellow dye and after another 10 minutes I squirted or poured the yellow dye on any area I thought looked too dark. Adding the yellow changed the color a little and gave it some highlights.

After another few minutes I poured soda ash (mixed with hot water) over the fabric in each container and on any fabric that stretched between the containers.

I let the whole thing sit for a couple of hours until the temperature started to drop and it looked llike rain. Since it wasn't that warm outside, I wanted to let it sit at least 24 hours but I didn't want to get large really dark areas that I would get if I let part of the fabric sit in the dye at the bottom of the container. So I took the fabric out of the containers and let it sit in the bottom of the large tub in the back of the car to finish batching (closed cars get a lot warmer than the outside temperature if there is any sun at all and I find it a good place to batch the fabric after dyeing). 

Parts of the finished fabric look like this. I was really happy with the patterns/designs the dye made in this 10-yard piece.

1 comment:

sonja said...

Kathy, that is one long piece of i get how you do it. while it batches in you car... is it submeged in dye bath or just wet? can dye be used again or reduced or thickened ? count on me to ask questions.Sonja