I had last week off sick, so I took the opportunity on Thursday to do some dyeing. I needed to dye some threads so threw in some fabric too. I'm quite pleased with the results (close ups further down), however there are a few changes to make.
The threads, soaking in dye...
With the threads I was trying for a variegated look. I got that with the blues and there is some variegation with the others, however not what I was looking for. I think to acheive this I would change my technique next time. This time I applied the dye, then after about an hour, I added the soda ash solution. I think that when I added the soda ash, it mixed my colours, producing a flatter colour. I think that if I mixe the dye an soda ash initially, or pre-soak them in soda ash, that would prevent the mixing of the dyes - hind sight is fabulous isn't it!!
While I was at it I tried a few other experiments. The first was 2 lengths of fabric, bunched widthways (wetted with soda ash solution), and colours added in bands, so that they bleed into each other. This worked quite well. The only issue seems to be the dilution of the turquoise and jade. I mixed them the same as the other colours, but they appear considerably lighter. I think that in future I need to strengthen this mix.
The second experiment was a lenght of fabric (again wetted with soda ash solution), zig-zagged together. I then applied the dye in a random fashion.
The third was a spiral of fabric, with radiating lines of red, yellow and magenta.
The second and third experiments worked well, however there were a lot of white patches. I did turn the fabric over whilst dyeing, however I was careful not to mix the colours too much. I'm in two minds about the white patches - part of me likes it, and part of me thinks I could overdye it with either a contrasting colour or a similar colour. What do you think?