Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Fabric to Dye For

I finally did it!  Many, many years after buying Helen Deighan's inspirational book 'Dying in Plastic Bags' I finally did do some dying in plastic bags (and a few bits in a cat little tray too, for good measure).

This is probably my favourite piece - reminds me of Japanese screens - very simply pleated and stuck in a bag with the next two bits shown here.
I thought that I should include a 'sunburst' (a 10p piece and five elastic bands to make this one).
 This one was loosely scrumpled with two elastic bands around it.

Isn't it great that these pieces were all in just one bag of dye?  I'm really pleased with the different effects!

The colours above are just to give you an idea of what my other bag dyed pieces looked like - lovely mottled dying, which is just what I wanted.  Luckily for me they are easy to achieve as it means that you have to work them less rather than more.  I don't know why I can't put this text beside them, though!

I found the whole rinse / wash part rather too taxing to do by hand - so used the washing machine to do lots of it.  A rather nice bonus was this array of colour catchers, which I'm looking forward to using.  I confess to a niggling doubt about whether or not all the spent dye has been caught, though, as I didn't have enough time / colour catchers to get to the point where they were coming out white.....

An interesting conversation at my quilting group last night, though, where I was told that if the dye was spent (so after 24 hours from mixing with the salt / soda to be sure) I should be able to wash all the pieces together, rather than in colour sets.  I feel a little more experimentation coming on (although I only have a limited amount of the white fabric for dying left at the moment!).  If it works I might do more dying in the future, otherwise I'm going to leave it in the 'too physical' pile and move on with other things instead.

Hope that you are having a lovely colourful start to spring too!


  1. It's years since I've dyed anything, though I am planning to experiment with reed very soon. I shan't be putting it in the washing machine though!

  2. I love the concept "too physical pile", a much better name for it than my "can't do it". Congratulations on your dyeing, I think you might become an addict. What will you do with the colour catchers? I have some but no idea of how to use them.

  3. Very pretty sunburst/flower! I haven't dyed in years except for little jars for tea/coffee/walnut dying on my countertop...Love the blue/rasberry result.Julierose

  4. I have Helen's book too! I've had some great results as well but like you I have lots of colour catchers!! any ideas on how to use them?

  5. Wow, what great effects! I love the red one, not often you can get paler red without drifting into pink. How wonderful that less work gets greater effects, wish life was like tat generally!!!

  6. I have that book also!! Really easy to use as well. Love what you have done.

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