Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hand Dyed Fabric

I spent most of Saturday dyeing fabric in the backyard. I used Jacquard MX Teal and Midnight Blue dyes. I was delighted with the results, except that the next time I'm going to use a table to hold the dyepots. I'm way too tall to stir the dyepots on the ground for over an hour.

The adventure started with a trip to four local thrift shops. I was looking for buckets, pitchers, stirring implements, measuring cups and measuring spoons. I didn't find everything I was looking for, but I did find a few treasures. Who wouldn't want to dye fabric in a pumpkin? A perfect container.

I also found a white cotton damask tablecloth. Although it looked grungy in the store, all the spots came out in the washing machine. Now I'm not sure if I will use it as a tablecloth or dye it. The only drawback to using it as a tablecloth is that it would be ironing heck. I also found a set of four napkins and an interesting damask towel with a monogram.

The top photo shows the dyeing in progress. The four napkins, the towel and a piece of silk dupioni are on the left. They were dyed teal. On the right are a rayon damask tablecloth (garage sale) and a piece of cotton muslin in the midnight blue dye. The tablecloth has been cut into pieces so I could move them around in the dyepot. I hope to make a jacket out of it.

Here's the clothesline with the rinsed fabric.

One of the most interesting things was what happened in the teal dye. All three of these pieces were dyed in the same pot for the same amount of time. The green piece is the silk dupioni. Then on the right are two of the napkins. It turns out that they were a set, but not a matched set. The darker one in the middle is heavier fabric that the other three. I think that may be why it is darker.

This is a picture of the design on the rayon tablecloth. As far as I can tell, all the coffee stains were covered up by the dye.

And this is the towel. I'm not positive what the monogram is. Suggestions are welcome.

All went well. I do not have purple hands. They have a bluish tinge, as if I needed more oxygen in my system. And no, I did not have a sudden attack of varicose veins, although it might take a doctor to tell for sure. They're just dye drips down my legs. Maybe another shower will take care of them.


a2susan said...

Hi, Marty. My guess is that the monogram stands for T U.

You are always up to some adventure. I'm sure you have a lot of fun in life!


Carol said...

I hope that you will post in the future just what you did with all these beautiful fabrics you are dying!

pam T said...

These came out gorgeous, especially the tablecloth. that design looks gorgeous the way it shows up! oooo I want to come and play with you some day, you always have so much fun!