Snow dyes, samples & polyester

After doing some snow dyeing last year, I couldn’t wait to start again this winter. The first two pictures are ones I did in December; they’re also posted there for my sister to take a look at, because I don’t remember which one she prefers. Got nice dark, or strong colors this year because I used a LOT of dye.

The blue fabrics are the four fat quarters I dyed together to try different muslins. From top to bottom, they are the “new” muslin (substitute for Jan Myers-Newberry’s choice), not scoured, new muslin scoured, Nature’s Way muslin, scoured, and Testfabrics’ broadcloth. The muslin quality, as I may have mentioned in my last post, is very similar between the new and Nature’s Way brands. The new muslin is not what I would call sueded, but it has a nice hand. I was surprised that the two pieces I scoured reacted somewhat differently, but they are different brands. The new muslin looks better, though this was not an exhaustive test. The unscoured piece did dye, but unevenly and took a lot more squishing. The broadcloth dyed the best, and it came out bluer than the muslins. A small bit of this is due to it being whiter to begin with; mostly it’s due to the fact that it was PFD when it got here, and it is mercerized. The process I used was a ‘mid-water’ immersion. The water to goods ratio was about 5:1, the pieces were stirred constantly for about 12 minutes before adding soda ash solution, and for about 6 minutes afterwards. Then they were put into slide-lock bags, all the air was squeezed out, and they batched overnight.

These next pictures are fabrics I dyed for Kate. They show six- and seven-step value gradations, plus a white piece of fabric at the top. The brown shades are a four-step value gradation. The two lightest lights are .6% and 1.3% OWG, but there is less difference in person than in the photograph, I think. She’s going to let me know what she thinks.

The last photo shows a piece of Robert Kaufman’s
‘NuSuede’ in process on a heat press. You can see the difference in color between the processed fabric on the platen, and the unheated fabric hanging to the right. A local sign shop let me have some time on it, because it’s a big expense to consider without a test drive. There’s a learning curve with the press as well as with the color mixing, but it’s definitely worth pursuing. Fun, too.

5 thoughts on “Snow dyes, samples & polyester”

  1. great pieces. I took Carol's class can you tell me the color number for the brown you have. I have a friend that wants a backing fabric dyed and the lightest color looks about the right color. Thanks.

  2. Lisa,

    I find your work fascinating and exciting!

    I hand-paint on silk, knowing pretty much what it will look like at the end, but yours seems so mysterious!

    Great job!! THANKS for letting the D.L. know about your blog!! (No matter what anyone says!)


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