So, now I have this sample, wet-finished and ready to dye. What now?
Well, after thinking things through this morning, I’ve decided that there are four patterns I want to try on the silk warp:
- Mottled mix of gold, orange, and red.
- Pale yellow-green, gold, orange, red, purple in smooth color gradation
- The same, as background, but with swirls of fiery reds and oranges down the length of the fabric, contrasting.
- Roughly colormatched, but with green, gold, orange, red, purple in swirls moving down the length of the fabric.
The first two are straightforward; the third and fourth, though, are technically complicated, and I spent most of the morning considering my options. The problem, in essence, is that in at least some areas, I want a lighter color on top of a darker background color, something that can’t be done by overdyeing. I considered all the possibilities (discharge, stenciling, silkscreening, resists, etc.) and finally concluded that I would need to combine a resist with a dye, paint the resist + dye for the foreground, wait for it to dry, then paint in the background. The combined resist + dye would dye the foreground and the “regular” dye would dye the foreground.
All good. But what resist to use? Most of the household resists available are starch-based, which would (not sure) probably react with the fiber-reactive dyes I was planning to use. I did some Google searches and finally found a recipe for sodium alginate based resist, which shouldn’t react with the fiber-reactive dyes. So I am going to try mixing up a witch’s brew of sodium alginate resist, mixed with dye and urea, and painted onto a soda-ash-soaked fabric. I don’t know if it will work but I think there is a good chance that it will.
Another option would be soy wax mixed with Synthrapol and dye, a la Jane Dunnewold’s Vibrant Color. I decided against that because it requires steaming the cloth. Heat + soda ash + wool = probably bad results. Running the reaction at room temperature, which I can do with sodium alginate, is less likely to harm the wool.
Off to the dyepots! I must test this out.