Dyeing days

A Dyeing Session

fabric and yarn dyeing in pots in a cat litter tray
deying fabric in pots all nice and neat

I started off doing some dyeing in plastic bags. I dyed one piece in each to start with, all solids, mostly greens, blues and greys. Then after about an hour, I added another piece to each, to get a paler shade. I did this again half an hour later. I may even have tucked a fourth one in before the dye was totally exhausted!

Here they are in the plastic bags sitting in the cat litter tray:

Fabric dyeing in a bag inside a cat litter tray to catch any drips
The bag is useful to keep the dye contained and also stops the fabric from drying out too soon

When I had done that, I used up the rest of the made up dye liquid by space dyeing some previously dyed fabric in a cat litter tray (jolly useful, they are!). I threw the rayon thread in at the last minute – rayon seems to take the procion dyes very readily and it was fun to see it creeping along the fibres! I put some underneath the fabric too, to soak up the residue.

fabric and thread being dyed
Lots of fabric and thread all scrunched up in the cat litter tray

I also tucked fabric into jamjars and poured dye liquid over it, and some more into old margarine tubs. I would have put the top picture here but I thought the plastic bags picture was a bit boring to start this post with! As you can see, I trailed some yarn in and out of all the jamjars and it made for an interestingly multicoloured piece. I dyed an immense amount of fabric this time. I don’t know exactly how much but it was two washing machine loads.

Here is the first load drying on the washing line:

green and brown fabrics drying
I love seeing how it’s all turned out like this!

And the second one… I was exhausted!

yellow and purple dyed fabric on washing line
That yellow fabric really stands out, doesn’t it?

Close up…

dyed fabric hanging out to dry
It always looks brighter when it’s wet and hanging on the washing line

Here it is, all ironed, folded and sorted into colours and values. Phew!

dyed fabric sorted by colour, lots of reds, oranges, greys
Sorted by colour into a colour wheel (excuse the messy carpet!)

We have greens, blues, greys and blacks…. I was pleased, actually, at getting a couple of quite dark black fabrics. I want to try discharging with these to see what colours they discharge to. I mixed a couple of different black dye powders together to get this – one with a bluey tint to it, one with a greeny one.

piles of green, white and grey fabric
piles of green, white and grey fabric

We have reds and purples…

dyed fabric all folded and lined up
Reds and purples

And we have oranges and browns… some of these were the overdyed space dyed ones.

yellow, orange and purple fabric folded and lined up
yellow, orange and purple fabric

This was the most dramatic overdyed fabric. It started off being turquoise, and I had so much of it I decided to use it. It went into a big margarine tub in a sort of ‘parfait dyeing’ way, with black at the bottom and then I kept pouring different colours in and adding more fabric and more dye till it was full!

space dyed purple fabric
dramatic purple fabric

And here is the yarn. It is rayon and some of it has a sort of glittery stuff wrapped round it.

dyed threads on cutting mat
Lots of the thread all dry and neat

Phew! Got to find somewhere to put it all now… just blogging it took nearly an hour!!

13 Replies to “Dyeing days”

  1. Wow! You have been working hard. I am wondering how big each piece is that you dye? I have been dyeing some fat quarters and that size seems easy to work with. Yours seem to be a bit larger though. My biggest problem is that I don’t have enough white cloth to dye and that makes me less experimental. I have to get a bolt. I am waiting until we go bakc to USA because it is less than half the price there that it is here. Now, what are you going to do with it all? Do you sell some or will it all be made into amazing quilts?

  2. These are amazing, I particularly love the greens and purples. Can’t wait to see what you do with this fabric now!
    I am starting my City and Guilds Certificate in p&q next Saturday and it has been great reading your posts about your course. For some reason, it seems difficult to read into the course online, so it has been fab to find your blog!

  3. Yummy, yummy, yummy. I really that spark of bright orange poking out of all those great neutrals. Quite a nice batch there.

  4. Oh Liz, those fabrics are gorgeous! I find dyeing exhausting too – but having all those lovely fabrics makes it worthwhile. Helen

  5. Wow, Wow, Wow, they are GORGEOUS!!! Would love to have some of those dye colors for dying my wool!!! Luscious!! 😀

  6. What a marathon – your washing line is totally crammed full! (Somehow I never thought of overlapping the fabric to get it all on the line…) Getting good blacks is so difficult – congratulations.

  7. Hard work but the results look well worth it. Hope you don’t get the vodka mix muddled with the dyes!

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