Adventures in Dying

No, that's not dying as in death.
That's dying as in colouring fabric with dye.

Last week I decided that some linen needed to be blue to make a new medieval short-sleeved overgown to go with my current green one - or to be worn separately if it's warm out. However, no blue linen existed in my house, though I had a fair quantity of white. It was decided (by me) that dye was cheaper than more fabric, as well as more efficient since I already had enough fabric, just not the right colour.
So I bought the blue, and while I was at it, I bought some black dye too. Not predictable at all, right? (laughs at self)
I also went to VV Boutique and picked up a 2-3 gallon pot for use exclusively for such things - I didn't want to ruin my good pots!

Friday night I did the blue. Somehow the Dye Gods were with me and it came out pretty much exactly the colour I wanted, which is rather unexpected for a first time dying. Though I did get a couple blotchy spots, which is unfortunate but can be worked around.

This afternoon I did the black stuff. I still had a fair length of the lime-green linen left over from the afore-mentioned green medieval dress, and I had at least a good 4-5 metres of a mauve silk that (if I recall correctly) was a lucky acquisition from a thrift store, both of which seemed like they'd be better in black. They're currently hanging to dry so I can see exactly what colours they came out before I run them properly through the wash; I'm still afraid that the lime-green will come out dark brown and the silk will be a dark purple - there's not much risk of it, but I'm still terrified that it'll be one of those unexpected results.

Honestly, though, dying fabric is a daunting undertaking for a perfectionist. Depending on the fibre type and the method used and the length of time in the dyebath and the concentration of the dyebath and the size and permeability of the length of fabric - well, let's just say the results are not always exactly what you want them to be. This is stressful for me as a perfectionist, because I want to know that it will come out this way if I do these things, and there just really is no way to do that.

So that's adventures in dying. Now to wait for the two black (I hope) pieces to dry.

Toodles all.

No comments:

Post a Comment