Oh....how can I share the activities of the September gathering of the Fiber Junkies without making you all pea green? There really is no easy way NOT to sound like I'm bragging about this very talented and generous group of artists.....
Our goal this month was to dye fabrics......we had a hot, sunny day in our favor.....Patsy Thompson and Nancy Bruce (we need to urge Nancy to get a blog!) had everything
set up for the rest of us slackers when we arrived. Thank you girlfriends!!
Judy Simmons has had lots of dyeing experience as does Val......but Carol Sloan and myself, not so much! We all brought various fabrics to share and experiment with..... The first task was to soak our fabrics in soda ash and water to prepare them for dyeing.
Note the print fabric.....it was a gift from 'the perfect child', perhaps purchased on one of his many business trips.....it's a Marimekko. I thought I'd try to overdye it.
UPDATE.....I just learned that this print fabric was also used as my DIL's brother's 'wedding' fabric. They made the groomsmen's ties out of it, and was added to each of the attendents dresses, they even found socks with the print. Now I feel really guilty for over-dyeing it!! Thanks Kelly for enlightening me!
Here it is again, drying on Patsy's driveway after I dyed it with avacado dye. You are seeing the back of the material.....with a turnover to the front on one edge. I liked the original version but it was a bit starker than I thought I'd use in my work......now I can see more possibilities.
We soaked all sorts of fabrics; muslin, mercerized cotton, polished cottons, threads, wool, bamboo rayon, cheesecloth.....oh my.....
We began in Patsy's studio with an overview of dyeing procedures shared by each of us.....well.....actually I didn't have anything to contribute since my experience is limited to almost zero. It was fascinating to hear the different approaches each has.
We moved out to the garage and Patsy showed us how to mix up the dye. We used Fiber Reactive Dye from Dharma Trading Co. Which works well with plant fibers.
She measured out 1 TBL. of dye.....we all wore masks during this process. Patsy is a physician in her other life and stressed the importance of wearing a mask when working with dye in its powered stage.
A little water was added and mixed with a spoon.......then more water was added to reach the 2 cup mark.
Patsy uses large squirt bottles to dispense and store her dyes. Those that aren't used in this dye day will be kept refrigerated, up to about 6 months. Nothing you use for this process should ever be used in the kitchen.
Here's our palette of dyes..... Patsy suggested that each bottle be labled since once they are mixed it's difficult to identify the color.
More to follow.......