Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Miscellaneous Dyeings

Wanna see the results of Monday’s dye session?

Weld and Logwood

Pretty huh? Who says that natural dyes are dull? That’s logwood purples and weld yellow on Merino-X fleece. I grew the weld myself too but of course not the logwood which was leftover-leftovers from Spectrum’s last dye day. Now I need to tease and card and spin that up and then decide what the heck I’m going to do with it! Stranded knitting springs to mind. I also have the peach-coloured part of this fleece, dyed with madder exhaust, to add to the colour palette. Do I have enough for a sweater perhaps?

I also promised to show the fabrics from Sunday’s Procion MX dye session. First there’s the formerly boring lavender-purple cotton jersey:


I use the general guidelines in Ann Johnston’s Color By Accident. I scrunched the damp 2 metres worth up in my stainless steel commercial chafing tray and poured plum and green (proprietary mixes from Maiwa) over, then soda ash solution, then a fairly strong black, and lastly more soda ash solution. Then I let it sit for a couple of hours while I worked on the second batch of fabric.

This one was a white home-dec jacquard weave with an unknown fibre content. I tested a snippet in the first bath and part of it dyed so I carried on and got the most amazing results:

Paisley rust  Paisley moss

I divided the 2 metres of fabric into two and stuffed the first piece in a large bucket. Then poured on mixtures of rust, scarlet and gold yellow dyes. After 10 minutes I added the soda ash solution and scrunched the second piece on top and poured on moss dye (another Maiwa colour – one of my favourites) and then more soda ash. Dyeing them stacked meant that some of the dye from each got on the other to make them very compatible. The bottom one always has the most mixing. I love that effect.

The other wonderful effect is the way the rayon? cotton? part of the fabric took the dye deeply and the polyester? part only stained slightly and looks silver in contrast. The paisleys just pop out and the fabrics are distinctly different on each side! Sooo cool. Now if I can just get the pattern to fit me properly, I’ll have a nifty new skirt.

I’ve already cut out the tunic from the scrunch-dyed jersey and it’s looking great so far, merely pinned to Debbie Double. I’ll probably finish it later today. I decided to forego the “deconstructed” thing and sew proper hems. Just can’t bring myself to leave them unfinished. After all, this isn’t a one-season item! I want it to last for at least 10 years. Kind of like these garments in yesterday’s outfit:

Tuesday outfit

(Pay no attention to the stupid expression. I was watching the timer on my camera!) This blouse is from a pattern from the late 1990’s and the (faded) skirt is somewhere near the same era but with a recently-added wide yoga pants-type waistband when the elastic died. So I was trying to relearn how to wear a belt. Can’t say it’s particularly comfortable. Now I remember why I never wear one! Since I don’t have an obvious waist in front it tends to shift around and not stay put. If it’s too tight it rides up under my bust. Can’t win. Oh, and I was wearing Birkenstock sandals instead of my usual boots! Of course I changed to my red Blunnies later when we went for groceries. Heh.

Amiga_back Amiga_done

While we’re at it – and before I dye it tomorrow – here’s the finished Amiga sweater. I didn’t put in buttonholes so it’s just pinned on Debbie. It’s also not yet blocked because there’s no point when it’s going to be dipped in indigo anyhow. The rayon slub yarn makes it very drapey and slinky. I think it will be a good trans-season sweater. More anon when it gets it’s blue dip.

Speaking of which, my buddy Kirsten is coming over tomorrow to play with my Japanese indigo (Persicaria tinctoria) with me. This will be my first efforts trying to get blue from this plant and I’ve been reading up. Every source I’ve consulted has different instructions for extracting the leaves so I’m somewhat confused! Perhaps I’ll just do what I do to woad and see what I get. It should theoretically be very similar even though the plants are different species, wouldn’t you think? The chemistry involved is much the same, yes? Wish me luck. If I screw up the plants will grow more leaves and I’ll get another chance in a few weeks. And there’s always the woad as well.


Anonymous said...

I haven't tried layering the fabrics and dyes like that , I like the results, I look forward to seeing the indigo. You are getting a great wardrobe that suits you and fits as well, congratulations.

Louisa said...

Thanks for the compliment, sweetie! I'm happy that I've decided to fit the body I have rather than wait until the magic day when I suddenly develop the perfect figure. Ain't gonna happen nohow. I just get older and droopier instead. :)

Evelyn said...

Love the sweater and even though it looks excellent off white, indigo will be gorgeous! Red belt is a nice touch.