Sunday, September 26, 2010

I love it when it works

I was trying to dye an ombre for the background of the banner. I knew I could mix different strengths of the dye and lay it out and squirt the dye on, but that process doesn't result in smooth transitions, and besides, I don't have a board wide enough to lay this piece of fabric out flat.

I decided to look around the internet and see what someone who's already done it had to say. I found a couple of sites, but they seemed too complicated. I finally looked at Dharma Trading company. It's where I buy all my dying supplies. Here is what I found. I have a clothes line I put up outside so I could dry my dyed fabrics more easily so I thought I'd try it. I didn't take any photos during the process because I forgot to bring my camera out with me, but here is the result. I was trying to give the idea of the red soil we have in Colorado, and I think I got a pretty good match if you look at the dirt in the picture you can see it's pretty close.

Here are the tools I used. I set this up under the clothes line and pinned the fabric to a plastic hanger. I tied a string to the hanger and looped it over the clothesline. I put the whole thing in the dye with 1 tablespoon of dye solution. I had pre-treated my silk with soda ash and dried it.  I put the whole piece in the dye and left it in for 5 minutes. I stirred it around to make sure it would be a pretty even dye. I also threw in another piece that I am going to use for the hanging sleeve. Every 5 minutes I added another tablespoon of the dye solution. I had pre-marked the fabric with safety pins so the gradations would be evenly spaced. I'm interested to see how it looks once I wash it. I didn't want the background to be too dark. In fact I pictured it just about this color, so YAY!

I have been using a book called the Fabric Dyer's Dictionary by Linda Johansen to get the approximate formulas for the dye solution. I am loving the book, because I don't have enough experience dyeing to know how to mix colors I want..


Allie said...

Dang - I can't even tell you how impressed I am with this - I love ombre's but can never find just the color I'd like, maybe I'll have to try this someday!

Laurie said...

This is impressive. I love the gradations; doubt I'll ever do it I can't stand to be outside in our heat! (I'm from Colorado but have been in TX a verrrry long time.)

Susan said...

What a creative mind you have. I would not even know where to start.


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