Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dyes & Tools

Next on my task list is a dye job for my friend Connie Rose. Connie has kindly allowed me to use some of her paintings as the basis for jacquard weavings. She has asked me to dye a shawl-sized length of handwoven silk for her, which I'm delighted to do. (Yes, Connie, I'm finally getting to your project!)

Per her request, I'm going to use a palette of colors that all are combinations of sun yellow, magenta, royal blue, and black, as shown in the photo below. The dye stocks are already mixed, and waiting to be further mixed into the hues she wants.

Because Sabraset doesn't have a good "pure" magenta dye, I use a Wash Fast Acid magenta, which plays nice with Sabraset because they're both for protein fibers, and have approximately the same pH requirements. So the jars are labeled "SS" for the Sabraset dyes, and "WFA" for the acid dye.

I thought it might be a good idea to show my favorite tools for dye mixing:

The tool in front is intended to froth milk for coffee, but it works wonderfully to dissolve dye powder in a small amount of liquid. (This one never goes into our household kitchen, it lives in the dye studio!)

Behind that is a hand-blender, which I use when I add dye stock to a dyepot; the blender makes sure the stock is evenly distributed in the pot before the fiber goes in. Again, it lives in the dye studio, and never has seen our household kitchen.

Connie stitched shibori threads into her shawl by hand, with the rows of stitching closer together at one end and gradually becoming farther apart at the other end. It should create a very interesting effect after dyeing, with the changing of patterning from one end to the other.

There's color coming up soon. Stay tuned!


Meg said...

Oh, yes! Hurry! I can't wait to see the result.

Connie Rose said...

Cool, Sandra, thanks! Incidentally, those shibori threads were woven in, not hand stitched. Can't wait to see what this looks like...although none of us will see it completely finished until you send it back and I add the metallic paint to the edges before I open it up. Thanks again!

Sandra Rude said...

Connie, I'm excited to see the results. How about if I post pictures during the painting process, and after you get the "snake" back, you post pictures of your process. We should cross-reference each other's posts so folks can see the whole sequence. I don't suppose you took any pictures of the silk on the loom, or the "pulling the gathering threads" part?