AK SAQA member and guest blogger Barb Hanson shares a recent fabric dyeing adventure in this blog post.
WHAT: Simple Silk Dyeing Workshop by Wendy Smith-Wood
WHO: 2 experienced (read that as PROs) fabric dyers and 2 inexperienced, meaning nothing, nada, well maybe a class at Color Creek years ago
WHEN: Friday through Sunday, September 26 – 28
WHERE: LITTLE BEAR CABINS, Majestic View
We (Cat Larrea, Diane Melms, Faye Stein, and Barb Hanson) drove our way to Palmer and stopped for a tasty lunch at Turkey Red and then enjoyed the full colors of autumn the next hour and a half as we headed north towards the Sheep Mountain area. The weather was turning as we arrived, but we settled into the comfortable cabins and changed into painting togs and Wendy gave us a preview of the next two days.
Both Diane and Cat are very experienced fabric dyers using cottons in their work.
So, key concepts for silk dyeing:
- An acid dye is used on protein fibers (silk, wool, alpaca, mohair)
- An acid bath is required to complete the dye-bond – usually citric acid or white vinegar – the dyes are chemically bound to the fiber at a molecular level and not painted on surface
- We used a Direct Application method for our small batches
- Pre-soak fabric in acid solution.
- Mix the dye colors from dye-stocks.
- Apply the dyes to the fabric.
- Set the dyes.
- Rinse out excess dyes under running warm water.
End result are some lovely pieces for the next project.