Have you wondered what happened to the fabric that I teased you with last week?
Liana and I wanted to dye our fabric green, but we wanted a green that was a bit on the cooler side and not to yellow. (Ours are the aqua pieces in the photo above.). We calculated that we needed 1.2 grams of dye for the weight of our fabric. And we felt that the seafoam green was too pale and perhaps not blue enough. Truthfully I don't remember our rationale, I only recorded the formula we used, not the reasoning behind it. So we used 1 gram of seafoam, and .2 gram of turquoise. I don't believe that we realized the turquoise was quite as intense as it proved to be, or as blue. It is really a pure clear blue. As we mixed our dye bath, we realized it was far more blue than we desired, so we added .3 grams of lemon yellow before adding the fabric.
Although the resulting fabric was not quite what we were aiming for, I do like the results of our initial experiment. It is a color I wear even though a more muted shade might be preferable. In fact we both prefer more muted shades, which means we will be experimenting further with mixing our own colors, rather than working with the pure dyes.
But what to do next? Friday morning's class started with a few examples of different dye techniques and a lesson in folding and clamping. I was thrilled to see that the myriad possibilities offered by a box of clamps that is still sitting in my garage, unused since my move.
We decided to fold or knot and clamp our turquoise fabric and dye it again, this time in pure yellow. Unfortunately I failed to take pictures of the process. I folded my fabric in fourths along the length of the fabric and then tied a simple knot at each end. Then I wrapped small rubber bands at the edges of the fabric, beyond the knots, making small bunny ears. In the middle of the fabric I used washers to create a ring shape, anchoring them firmly with two clamps. I really didn't have a plan, I was just experimenting, which as you will see, seems to pretty much have been my consistent method. Although others were more methodical, my own technique was more playful and spontaneous.
After the fabric came out of the dye bath, I used some cobalt blue to paint around the washers before I removed them, and to dab bits of blue along the folds of the knots and rubber bands. Above are our fabrics after rinsing, hanging to dry. The turquoise is the original color, the green was where the additional yellow soaked into the fabric, and on mine, the front piece, you can see the bits of blue. Below is the final piece after it came home.
I love this piece, but I don't really know what I will do with it. The piece is too short and wide to make a useful scarf, and the linen/cotton fabric is also bulky and a bit stiff. But I see potential here for future designs, and possibly even a scarf, although silk will take the dye differently. Certainly, I am pleased enough, and thrilled enough by the possibilities, that visions of future dye experiments are dancing in my head.