Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Mixing Dye Concentrates
Today it felt wonderfully comforting to be painting with dyes again having been away from it from it for a couple of weeks. How did I managed to get red dye on the underside of both forearms? A couple of days ago I mixed new dye concentrates as it is important to remix dye concentrates every 5 weeks or so to maintain full strength of the colours. As you can see, I mix only a ¼ to ½ cup of each colour so that my dyes are always fresh.
When I am ready to paint with the dyes, as I was today, I place 1 – 2 tsp of thickener (sodium alginate mixed with urea water) in a small container and add the same amount of the dye concentrate to it. As the thickened dyes doesn’t last as long as the liquid dye concentrates, I remix them every 5 days or more often if I run out. The yellow seems to run out before the other colours even though I thicken twice the amount of it. Check at DharmaTrading, for supplies and information about the dyeing process.
Just to warm up, I decided to paint 6 small images for cards. The details will come with the free motion stitching after the pieces are washed. I have tested this fabric before, having been given it by my cousin. It doesn’t take the dye as well as the fabric I buy from Dharma Trading and I was actually going to give it away but then I got such rave reviews about the texture of this fabric in the pieces I dyed previously, that I decided to give it another chance. Today I was sure to add a couple of layers of dye, letting it soak in between layers. This may help to keep the colours strong. Dyeing it a second time would also give added vibrancy. Currently the piece is curing at 70 degrees for at least 24 hours before rinsing. I'll let you know what happens.