I’m currently stymied on the Celtic Braid Coat (the bound buttonholes are giving me conniptions), and since it isn’t due until September, I’ve decided to take a break for a day or two and have my dye play day today. Techniques for the day include tie-dye, low-water immersion, tray dyeing, and ice dyeing – next week I’ll go for the thickened dyes, shibori, and any remaining outfits. I have quite a bit of dyeing to do! but it should be quite enjoyable, and a nice break.
First on the agenda is seven men’s button-down shirts from Dharma Trading Co. These are made with rayon twill, and are lusciously drapey and wonderful. (They were also on clearance!) I’m going to experiment with tray dyeing, using the book Tray Dyeing: Exploring colour, texture, and special effects, by Leslie Morgan and Clare Benn of Committed to Cloth. This is basically a more sophisticated variant of low-water immersion dyeing. Then I’m going to do ice dyeing, which basically consists of arranging your soda-soaked cloth, heaping ice on it, and then sprinkling either powder or liquid dyes over the ice. (I’ll probably use liquid dyes, as it’s safer. I do own a respirator, but why put it on if you don’t have to?)
Here are the seven shirts I plan to make (subject, of course, to change without notice):
- Blues and purples, loosely scrunched and then tray dyed for a subtle overall pattern. May screen print on this later.
- Browns, formed by tray dyeing with golden yellow and violet – either scrunched or spiraled
- Golden yellow, moss green and royal blue – pleated and tray dyed in what Benn and Morgan call “the Monet effect” – putting the dyes on in a wavy pattern so there is more blending
- Green and blue – Mini spirals + scrunching
- Black and gray – scrunched up and “flooded” in the tray. This will be overdyed with a brighter color to produce an interesting textured effect.
- fuchsia, purple, and black – ice dyed, scrumpled.
- rust orange, chocolate brown, and black (Tiger colors!) – ice dyed, pleated (tiger stripes!)
I will likely use relatively muted colors as the objective is to expand my work wardrobe (which is boring, and getting a bit threadbare to boot!). The brilliantly tie-dyed T-shirts will come later!
If I can get those dyed today I’ll basically be happy.
But there is more waiting in the wings:
- White cotton bathrobe, to be tie-dyed. This is not PFD so I don’t know if it’s going to take dye well – but I figure it’s worth a try. I did scour it in two very hot water washes with Synthrapol!
- four white T-shirts
- two black T-shirts, for discharge and re-dyeing (or screen printing!)
- six pairs of socks
- three pairs of sweatpants
- two sports bras (hey, why not?)
- tiger T-shirt that needs painting with thickened dye
Hmm…I wonder if I could tie-dye the zucchini plant? That would certainly alert the neighbors to the alien menace in our back yard…!
Off to mix up dyes. I’ll post photos when done, of course. (And don’t forget Dye Day #2, coming up next weekend!)