Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dyeing with acid wool dye... it is all in the folks festival T-shirt

Dyeing season.
The time of year when the cars get evicted from the garage and the plants get a healthy drink of slightly acidic water (they love it--alkaline soil around here). The season of sore backs, scalded toes, and mottled surgical scrubs, stolen souvenirs from various hospitals over the years. (They were worn home after certain incidents involving fluids that shall remain nameless. Nothing like taking your good khakis home in a bag and being pretty sure you can never wear them again...)

I am a dyer. I love the structured nature of dyeing with acid wool dyes, that I can replicate the colors I make (except the errors--can never get those again), that the math is simple, and that the combinations are boundless. I definitely admire the natural dyers. Their work seems much more complicated than mine. But I'm hooked on the synthetics. The color gradations are fantastic.

While dyeing the last few weeks, I took the liberty of shooting some video. It was simply meant to give you a flavor for what dyeing is all about. And if I can do it, so can you. Enjoy! (And I swear I am NOT drunk in that out-take at the very end... I just get some weird fake southern accent thing happening when I'm being a goof. My apologies Nana.)


For full screen, push the square icon in the lower right corner of the video window. Or push the YouTube button to view it there.

7 comments:

  1. What a fun video, Rebecca. It looks to be very time consuming and if I was a young'un like you, I might give it try.

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  2. Oh Boy! You have helped me begin another new adventure. I am dyeing small samples and the ratios of chemicals to WOF is a bit challenging for me. I shall prevail! It is fun!

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  3. You do look like you are having fun! But I know that it is a lot of hard work, too.

    Do you have any recommendations for a source for undyed yarn for a good tapestry weft yarn?

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    1. Yep. Lots of places! All the tapestry yarns listed in my online class come in undyed versions. My favorite are the Harrisville Highland, Shetland, and singles. I love the Faro Swedish singles from Glimakra USA. My new favorite yarn is Weavers Bazaar from England.

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  4. I had a look at the Weavers Bazaar page, and I see that they have a worsted single-fleece (Blue-faced Leicester) undyed yarn. It sounds like it would be great for dyeing. I've been dyeing unprocessed fleece and then spinning it, trying to make a nice worsted two-ply for tapestry, but my results are wildly varied.

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    1. I think this is a yarn they have been working on for tapestry. I am definitely going to give it a try along with the 18/2 singles they have. The owners of this business are both tapestry weavers and are trying to produce the best tapestry yarns. I think they're doing a fantastic job.

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  5. Getting back into dyeing was the best thing I did this summer Rebecca...such control and the occasional lack of control. A gradation hanging on the clothesline gives me such satisfaction.

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