Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Colors Of The Rainbow

Recently I went on a dyeing spree.  I dyed close to three dozen shirts of various shapes and sizes.

All that white just begging for color.

I mixed the dye, spread out the newspaper and enlisted the help of the kids.

The first method we did was scrunch dyeing.  This method uses one color and produces a gradation of color on the fabric.

After adding the dye the shirt is kneaded like bread dough.  The fabric absorbs the dye in uneven, random fashion producing a color with lots of depth and dimension.

Next up was the classic tie-dye.

The shirt was twisted up and held in place with rubber bands.  We applied the first color with a squirt bottle.

When we got tired of the first color, we applied a second color.

Of course half the fun of this whole process is that we don't really know how it's going to turn out.  The shirts have to sit for 24 hours and get a thorough washing before we know what the finished product looks like.

The final method we used was good old-fashioned tub dyeing.  If I'm dyeing a large quantity of shirts with this method, I'll use the washing machine.  For smaller batches I use a bucket.

The result of this method is even, uniform color throughout.

After all the squirting, stirring, waiting, washing and rinsing . . . 

. . . it's time to dry.

Fresh colors . . . 

. . . blowing in the breeze.

A kaleidoscope of color.

We all had fun mixing and matching colors.  If we hadn't run out of shirts, I think we would have kept on dyeing.

And here is my color inspiration for the week.

Gingered plum sauce.


Taos Sunflower said...

OMG, ginger plum sauce. YUM. Thanks for the pics of dyeing shirts...I can't believe I'm saying this, but I have never dyed shirts or cottons before! What kinds of dyes do you like the best?

Dirty Water DyeWorks said...

Thanks for stopping by, Martie! I use the procion dyes from Dharma ( The process is different from dyeing with wool. Check out their website for instructions - they are a great resource.

I've also dyed yards of fabric. Quilting possibilities? It never hurts to combine a couple of passions.

Taos Sunflower said...

Oh yes....I have friends here in SoCal that dye their quilting fabrics. I am hoping to not get that sucked in just yet! Thanks for telling me about the dyes...I've heard great things about Dharma...should go check it out.