Friday, 9 May 2014

Dyeing Day

Yesterday our gang of four ladies got together at Jean's house for another playday and this time we were dyeing.  Wow!  I've not worked so hard at dyeing for a long time but it was a great fun day.  Sadly, the weather was against us so we mostly had to work inside but there was a break in the rain and Wendy and Tina were able to do some experimenting outside for a while.

When we arrived Jean had set everything up ready for us and it all started out very tidily but we gradually managed to get two rooms looking like a tornado had gone through.  We started by 'exchange' dyeing smallish pieces of fabrics in a series of 8 baths from a gorgeous acid yellow through to French blue.  Tina used a little of each colour to dye some fabric in a tall vase (parfait dyeing).
The utility room was set up with lots of dyes for us to play with and a saucepan of logwood natural dye to use too.  I've got some lovely mauves from that that I'll photograph and put on here soon.

We all tried our hand at space dyeing and Tina is going to have some lovely variegated thread.

I had taken along a two metre length of off white/lemony linen that I scrunched up and then painted dyes onto with a foam brush.  The dyes didn't move as much as I thought they would so Tina helped me turn the fabric over and I painted it again from the reverse side.  By today, after batching, the colours had merged so that there is hardly any plain cloth showing and I am currently wiating impatiently for it to dry a bit so I can iron it and see what I've got.  I need it dry for tomorrow as I want to make a top with it.

I shall be interested how Tina's swirly piece above turns out.  The lavender is a very delicate colour.

This piece of Wendy's above has been pushed into the rows of a CD holder (from Ikea) so that it should dye in stripes.

The rain eased off just long enough for Wendy to let gravity do its work with this piece of cloth and it looked very dramatic in real life.

The moment of truth for the exchange dyed fabrics and the tricky job of sorting out what belonged to who.  Fortunately we had all marked out fabrics with various scissor cuts (or no cut) in an effort to make the sorting easier.  

As well as the dyeing shown here I also parfait dyed a linen tablecloth that was an unused wedding present from about 40 years ago (am I really that old?!) and a ragged apron that had belonged to my friend Grace's brother and which is looking very exciting today now that the excess dye has been washed out.  Can't wait for that to dry to!

My DH has gallantly helped me with the rinsing out today so now I just have to be patient for a while to see the results.  So far the exchange dyeing is looking subtler than it appeared when taken out of the tubs.  I will be ironing it all later but I won't get any photos posted today as the light is terrible.  Just when I need a drying day outside it's pouring down!  C'est la vie!

Dig the pinny!


Emma said...

That man is a star! You're not old, just a little historic ;)

Fabulous mix of colors & dyeing techniques there, I won't tell you its a great drying day the moment ;)

Peneller said...

Can't wait to see the results Julie! We've had a lovely day for dyeing here, but no time due to gardening activities. It's going to be wet tomorrow so I might just get the dyes out anyway!

Amanda said...

That looks all so fantastic! I really must pull my finger out this summer. Looking forward to seeing your results later.

Heather said...

All the rinsing can be quite exhausting - not to mention all the clearing up afterwards - but the results are fantastic and you all seem to have achieved some lovely effects.

sweetypie said...

we are not old, we are vintage, it was a fun day wasn't it

Wendy said...

I would just like to point out that I don't look like an old tramp normally, the jumper was appropriated from B's charity donation bag :)
It was a fab day and I loved seeing the ironed fabric today :):):):):)

Gina said...

Maybe that's what I need, a dyeing day with friends. I can never muster any enthusiasm at home... too messy for me!

Indigo Blue said...

WOW! Looks like a great day was had by all! Love dying fabric, you are never quite sure what you are going to get until you open up the fabric.

sharon young said...

What a fabulous day, I'm so jealous, I used to love dying fabrics. You all seem to have achieved some marvellous results, can't wait to see yours when they're dried and pressed.

Linda said...

Thats a great way to spend a day with friends....looks like fun! And hurrah for helpful DHs; he's a good'un :-)
I would have loved the ironing bit....seeing how it all turned out. Much better than ironing shirts and trousers. x

Maggi said...

Yummy, and I love that gravity stripe.

Anonymous said...

These look delicious! And sounds like you had a fabulous day altogether!