Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dye Experiments

My work on dying the new twill continues. I actually learned some really interesting lessons from my experimentation.

First up, here's a pic. This shows the original fabric that I dyed, and then three swatches on top of each one. So the three swatches are what those original fabrics turned into after some dye fun.

The first thing I did was dump each of the swatches into a dye bath, and let them sit for about an hour. The results of that are in the swatches marked A,B,C and D.

I then cut those swatches in half, and put one half back in the SAME dye bath for another hour. The results are A2, B2, C2, D2.

A day later, I mixed up a new dye bath and dunked half of THOSE swatches into it, and let them sit for about ten minutes. Those are swatches A3, etc.

Ultimately, what I have learned about dying is this: you cannot use the same dye bath twice. It might work if you put in fresh fabric, but you cannot hold a piece of fabric in the dye for say, twice as long, and expect it to turn twice as dark. I guess the way it works is that the fabric absorbs as much dye as it can from the current mix, and there comes a point where the bath is not potent enough to penetrate the fabric any further. I obviously don't understand the mechanics of it, but I certainly understand the practical ramifications of trying it.

BUT, if you mix up a fresh dye bath, you can keep it rolling.

Even better, and the best news of all is that of the fabrics I ordered, pretty much any one of them can be dyed to meet my needs. By the time I got to my third iteration of dying, I knew the color was just about where I needed it to be, and that is great.

So onward and upward. Now if I can just isolate which fabric is which, I will be able to order a few yards and get the party started.

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