Here, as promised, are photos of my cross dyed samples, woven with 100% cotton warp (10/2 cotton from UKI/Yarn Barn) and 100% alpaca yarn (Henry’s Attic Alpaca Lace, from Catnip Yarns):
The Lanaset (acid dye) samples were dyed in the microwave in a vinegar-water-dye dyebath, then removed and boiled in soapy water to remove the (often substantial) stains from the cotton. (I used Dawn dishwashing detergent as the soap.) The Royal Blue swatch (top left) was not boiled but soaked in warm soapy water for several hours, which seemed to work just as well (and is probably easier on the alpaca).
The Lanaset dye samples, as you can see, turned out very well for cross-dyeing. They “took” on the alpaca weft (all samples are turned so the warp runs top to bottom and weft from left to right) but not on the cotton.
The fiber-reactive dyes were another story. These samples (Cibacron F and Pro MX) were all soaked in soda ash, a small amount of dye added and squished thoroughly through the sample, then placed in plastic bags in a plastic container, and “batched” in a 180-degree oven for about 2 hours. They were then rinsed thoroughly, washed in hot soapy water, and some swatches were actually boiled in soapy water to see if the color would come out of the weft yarn. In many cases the weft yarn was dyed (against expectations!) even in an alkaline environment
Here are the fiber-reactive samples:
As you can see, in many cases the fiber-reactive dye dyed both equally, and I’m pretty sure the dye is permanent, since it didn’t come out even after boiling in soapy water. The colors that seemed to “take” least are the Cibacron F Fuchsia, the Procion MX Cobalt Blue, the Cibacron F Turquoise, and Procion MX Turquoise. All the yellows seemed to “take”, which is a pity because it means I don’t have an effective yellow in the fiber-reactive range.
(The Cibacron F Fuchsia might have been a labeling mistake, since it appears that it didn’t “take” on the cotton. I’m suspecting it of being a duplicate of the acid dye Polar Red, though I have no idea how that could have happened! I will have to re-run the experiment.)
It’s possible that heating the fiber made the alpaca “take” the dye better, so I’m going to run another batch of fiber-reactive experiments, this time batching at room temperature. I’m hoping that works better!
I’m also going to run another batch of tests using a wool weft, to see if that makes a difference.
On the slate for today: weave more samples, pick up and adore The Fuzz.
Tomorrow I have the day off, so I am going to spray down the weeds in the front yard. A landscaping company is dropping off 7 cubic yards of compost, and the plan is to apply Roundup to kill the extremely tenacious weeds in the front yard (we dug one out and the tap root was two feet long!), then cover in compost and seed a new lawn with a mix of clover and tall fescue. The clover will help fix nitrogen, feed the lawn, and look pretty. The big question is whether to dig in the compost, which will be great for the soil but will take a lot of time and muscle, or whether to leave it on the surface and let worms dig it in for us over time. I’m kind of inclined to dig it in, if only to give me something to do at the house while Mike is wiring up the electrical circuits. I need more exercise anyway!
Friday will be the CNCH Fashion Show, and I’m in it. I have the day off, and am going up there in the morning to drop off my entries. Then I’m volunteering for two hours, and then I’ll have a few hours to check out the galleries and the marketplace. John Marshall and Giovanna Imperia will be there, and I definitely want to check out their wares! And then, of course, is the Fashion Show. I’ll be modeling Kodachrome and Autumn Splendor.