Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dye Experiments

Somehow, I have managed to go my entire sweet, short life without having experienced the process of dying fabric. Well my faithful readers, those days are over!

Today my task was to dye a few cuts of fabric to use as the stabilization flap on the inside of the Superman Returns cape. Since I've never done this before, I did not have very high hopes.

I cracked a bottle of Rit Dye that I purchased online a while ago, and basically just followed the directions. Since I was doing only a small amount of fabric, I just did it in a bucket in the kitchen sink:

After about an hour, THIS came out:

The camera totally ruins the color, but it looks GREAT!!! I mean REALLY REALLY good. I don't always impress myself, but this just turned out so fantastic. The color is really nice, and basically perfect for my test cape. The color is not QUITE where it needs to be for the final cape, as it should be a bit deeper red, and have a twinge of brown to it, but it is really really close.

The other thing I wanted to experiment with while having a bucket full of red dye handy was a technique known as an "ombre". This is where the color of the fabric gradually transitions from one color to another. Or in my case, from one shade of red to another. I did some research online a while ago, found a few links, and gave it a shot.

Though you cannot tell it from the photo, the results are stunning.

It is EXACTLY how I hoped it would turn out. It just worked so perfectly, it's almost rediculous. What is perhaps more interesting is that the red in the mid grade is an even BETTER red for the cape than my found fabric. This gets me thinking that I may want to dye a few yards of my red stock, THEN put the ombre on it, and THEN make the final cape. The color looks a lot richer when dyed, and a lot closer to where it needs to be. Not that the fabric I found is terrible, but it has some subtle differences.

Overall, this has been a really productive day, and I'm really happy how things turned out.

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