• Madwomanstitches

Module 7: Dyeing Fabrics ... amazing experiments with colour - part 2.

I really hope that you enjoyed part 1.

In this blog, I will look at Batch, Jam-Jar and Ice Dyeing .. 3 very different techniques, which result in some amazing colours. i spent some time researching various methods before deciding on the ones I would use for this Module.

here are a couple of pages from my research:

Batch dyeing is basically a way of dyeing large amounts of fabric. Most fabric that is commercially dyed is batch dyes. It is also known as: Exhaust dyeing or discontinuous, dyeing. It is the process used for most commercial fabric dyeing. Basically, dye gets slowly transferred from a comparatively large volume dye bath to the material that is to be dyed. The time taken is also longer. The dye is meant to 'exhaust' from dye bath to the fabric.

I began dyeing with this method as it seemed that I could quickly dye a range of fabrics and end up with a wide selection of colours. The fabrics range includes: cotton, calico, scrim, jersey, upholstery fabrics and some from my stash, which were not labelled. It was quite exciting to see how they would turn out and which fabrics would take / not take the dye.

I had to come up with a way of recording what happened to my fabrics, so devised the record sheets below, which can be stored in a ring binder. I also limited the colours I was using, as it made recording easier. In the record sheets, you will see that I labelled the 3 colours A -red, B - yellow & C - blue. They were all commercial procion (or fibre reactive) dyes (in this case 'Dylon').

At this point, I should mention that dyes are chemicals, which can be irritating/harmful, so please use, masks, gloves, etc where appropriate. Procion dyes are noted to be the safest type of dye to work with

So, in the record sheets, you will see what happened to the fabrics as there are pre and post-dyed samples. Also note that the dyes were mixed to create yet more colours! The colour mixes were all equal, so A + B = 50% Red & 50% yellow.

For the Jam-jar dyeing I began with 8 plastic pots labelled A – H (marked in 100ml divisions) and I used Procion dyes. The fabrics were all pre-washed and pre-wet and then loosely scrunched into the pots.

I mixed 1 teaspoon of colour with 2 tablsp of salt & 1tsp soda ash to a paste and made up to 100ml with water = FULL STRENGTH (FS)

(I used 3 primary)colours

Half strength (HS) = 50ml FS + 50ML water

Quarter strength (QS) = 50ml HS +50ml water

Soda Ash is the dye fixer for this experiment and the salt encourages maximum exhaustion and also helps to fix the dye.

I devised this table to show what strength of dye was mixed into each pot.

Here you can see the brilliant results! The textures were totally unexpected and I love them.

The last part of today's blog is the most exciting! I just love ice-dyeing and the wonderful results it achieves.

A selection of fabrics are folded and tied in different ways (pleated, scrunched, twisted, etc); placed on a metal grid*; covered in ice; dye powder sprinkled on then left overnight! *The grid prevents the fabrics from sitting in the water as the ice melts. All the dyes mix together into a muddy brown colour and you don't want this spoiling your gorgeous fabrics.

The next morning, carefully unfold your fabrics and rinse thoroughly and voila ... yummy, gorgeous fabrics that are so wonderfully textured and coloured!

Aren't these totally awesome? Which is your favourite?

You will get to see how I used these scrumptious fabrics in a later blog.

The final episode of dyeing - part 3 will follow soon. Thanks for reading. Please comment or ask questions xx

#batchdyeing #jamjar #icedyed #recordsheets #table #predyed #postdyed #ProcionDye #sodaash #salt #soda