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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Dye experiments

Yesterday afternoon I spent a pleasant few hours dyeing fabrics. I actually needed more threads to use on my embroidered hexagon fabric but you can not just dye threads unless you are doing loads! So I had a look through my fabrics to see what I could play around with.

I found a metre of white cotton velvet and as I am thinking about bags for presents this seemed like a good fabric to experiment on.
I divided it into 6 pieces, soaked them in cold water and then wrung them out and put each into a separate poly bag.
I also have a quantity each of white  viscose velvet and a synthetic velvet (for use with disperse dyes) but could not remember which was which so I put snippets of each into each bag. I added a selection of white cotton embroidery threads and some silk threads from Oliver Twists and then I was ready to dye.
I mixed some emerald dye and some marine violet then mixed them together in three different proportions adding each to a different polly bag.
I then repeated using the same proportions with lemon and turquoise dye.
As I don't like solid colour fabrics I did not agitate the bags after an initial squeeze and knead to distribute the dye.
The bags were left overnight and this morning they were rinsed and washed in metapex and I must say I am very pleased with the results.
These are the emerald/marine violet fabrics and threads - the colours are actually much darker than the photograph shows.

These are the lemon/turquise

Some of the dye that was left over was dripped onto a dry linen fabric, wrapped in cling film and left over night.

Then to use the rest of the dye I scrunched some dry cotton fabric into two ice cream tubs and then just pourned on the dye, prodded with a wooded stick and then covered and again left overnight.

Here are the results of these two experiments.

There are some beautiful 'flowers' on some of the emerald/violet fabric

And I now know which is the synthetic velvet!

Once I had put these bags and pots of fabric to one side I was able to get on with another project.

I dyed these shibori fabrics a little while ago but have never been happy with the colour.

So I added them to a bowl of ultramarine dye and am now much happier with the result.

Again, the camera does lie and these fabrics are darker than they show here.

Not liking waste I clamped some folded cotton fabric between perspex squares and soaked these in the ultramarine dye after I had removed the shibori fabrics. Although most of the dye was spent the cotton has taken on a lovely pale blue colour and is ready to be overdyed next time I get my dyes out.

Hope you are all having a good weekend

Best wishes



  1. Il y aura de beaux projets à faire avec ces beaux tissus frais teints. Beau travail! Et les fleurs sont superbes. Bonne fin de semaine!

  2. what an interesting process. love the velvets and threads.
    look forward to seeing what you create with these lovely fabrics.

  3. Hi Lin you got the colours to match your hexi quilt perfect. Looking forward to seeing how you use them on the quilt :)

  4. Those dyed fabrics are beautiful, Lin!

  5. Wow, what a wonderful dye day!! I like the results that you ended up with, especially the shibori. Did you write a post on how you did the shibori? What a great idea to dye your threads at the same time-I need to try that.
    Enjoy your new fabrics,

  6. looks like you have been having fun.

  7. Wow Lin I just love your dyed fabric. You must have had a lovely dyeing day. Do you use Procion MX. When I see your beautiful fabric I miss my dying. I will have to make some time for it, it is such a fun. Your shibori looks gorgeous.


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