Sunday, August 16, 2015

Low Immersion Dyeing: Using Left-Over Dyes

 If you haven't used up the concentrated dyes you have mixed from powder in awhile (over 2 months in the refrigerator), you may not want to risk painting on fabric with them as they might not have the intensity you are expecting. Rather than disposing of these dyes recently, I decided to low immersion dye some fat quarters. I figured I could always paint or dye over them if the colours weren't strong enough. I was very pleased with the results.
You can check here for information on low immersion dyeing at the Dharma Trading Company website. The first three photos are of cotton pieces dyed with a low immersion method. The three pieces of fabric were dyed in layers in one container. After lightly damping the fabric pieces with water, I scrunched one fabric piece in the bottom of a large yogurt container. I then drizzled on a few dye colours that were would be considered a dark mix. As I was using leftover dyes, I was not very specific about amounts.  
 For the next layer I mixed in some urea water to the dark mixes to create medium values.
And for the top layer I added more urea water to create lighter shades. I am very pleased with the value shift between the three pieces.
This piece pictured below was over-dyed using the low immersion method. I had originally hand painted the piece with thickened dyes but was unhappy with the results. Look at it now! What texture.
Purple mixed from fuchsia and turquoise and black were the only two colours used in this fat quarter. You can image the fabric was loosely pleated before being placed in a small container. After letting all the pieces sit for about 15 minutes, I added a warm soda ash solution until you could just see the liquid nearing the top. I 'kinda' think of the similarity of adding milk to the layered potatoes when making Scalloped Potatoes. After leaving the fabric in their dyed containters overnight, I rinsed them and then washed them in a textile detergent.

Okay this following photo is just a teaser for a future post. The last two days were spent in fabric dyeing experimentation. If you like fabric dyeing, I think you will be loving this technique. My friend and I who have dyed fabric for years were excited with the technique.


Luann Fischer said...

I really like the results you've shown in your first pictures. But, that last one is totally awesome. I think I know how you achieved it. I am anxious to read about your experience.
Have a great day,

Win Dinn, Artist said...

What gorgeous colours in those fabrics, Eileen - the transition from dark to mid-tones to lighter colour is wonderful. I love the purple you managed from the turquoise/fuschia/black, and that over-dyed piece is luscious with texture. And that've got me chomping at the bit to see what the next post will be!

Deann said...

You are always doing something fun and messy I love it...but I'm too lazy.