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.


Win Dinn, Artist said...

I just love the intensity of the dye colours - they make that window box sparkle with energy!

Laura Leeder said...

I got excited just looking at these bottles of dye and the white of the cloth. So like watercolour paints and paper for me!