No, not football, silly, it's only July. Are you ready for some TIE DYE?
The Asheville meetup is less than a week away, and this time we're going to tie dye, dammit! In my diary following the 4/20 meetup I promised a follow up and here it is, late as usual. OTOH, this is my third published diary in as many days so I'm catching up with my draft list ;)
Follow me below the tapestry for the goods.
I love fiber arts and working with color. I was eight when I learned to sew, and later made both my senior prom gown and my wedding dress. Knitting, crochet, macrame, cross stitch, embroidery and of course quilting -- I've tried them all.
It's the follow through that gets me. I have the attention span of a gnat. Any creative project requiring more than 24-48 hours to complete has a good chance of turning into clutter before ending up in a box in the attic. Quilting is especially bad for this, as it involves small pieces of fabric, multiple furkids, and ongoing clutter issues.
My first experience with fabric dyes came in 2009, when a friend of mine had a tie dye baby shower. It took about fifteen minutes for me to get hooked on bibs and onesies. The very next day, I bought a craft store kit and some rubber bands, gathered every white, 100% cotton tee in the house, and began experimenting. By the time the dyes were gone, I had a few decent pieces and a grasp of the process.
We'll be using Procion MX dyes, which is the gold standard in fiber reactive dyes. Dharma Trading Company is my go-to supplier; the site has tons of info and tutorials for those who are interested in specifics.
After folding the shirts, we'll apply the fixer and dye in separate steps. Doing it this way offers many more color mixing options and extended potency of the dyes (if kept cool, they'll be good for a week or more.) When you buy dye in bulk as I do, that adds up!
Let's start by folding a spiral. Start with a clean, damp shirt. Turn inside out and place face down on a clean table. Mark the center of the spiral, which is the DKos Asheville logo here.
Anyway ... time to stick a fork in it and rotate.
So, let's have a look at our spiral! Front and back:
If you're coming to Asheville and want to bring items of your own to dye, here are a few tips:
1. Natural fibers work best. Items should be 100% cotton, linen, rayon, bamboo or hemp. Blended fiber shirts will still take the dye, but the colors will appear "washed out" and may fade over time.
2. Other easily dyeable items include bandannas, scarves, socks, and canvas shopping bags.
3. If you knit, crochet, or do macrame, consider dyeing your own yarn. Hemp, cotton, and bamboo take fiber reactive dye beautifully.
4. Make sure anything you plan to dye is freshly laundered in hot water. New items must be pre-washed to remove sizing that can inhibit the dye.
Hope this has been informative! It's getting late and I'll only be up another hour or so, but I'll check back tomorrow if there are any questions.
Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 3:10 PM PT: Thanks so much for the Community Spotlight and many nice comments! I crashed last night after hitting "publish" and have been at work all day ... finally back to catch up.
Since there seems to be interest, I'm thinking of creating a series of diaries on fiber reactive dye techniques. I have plenty of material for more. I know there are crafters groups here, if someone could direct me to the right place I'd be happy to contribute! Again, thank you :)