Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Over - Dyeing fabrics

Earlier this month I dyed some fabric in the clear colours of Lemon Yellow, Fuchsia, Turquoise, Grape, Deep Orange and Kelly Green, you can read the post by clicking here.

We had some more warm weather last week and so I over-dyed the fabric for the first time. I wondered if it would be a waste of time especially over-dyeing with the same colour as the first time.

I was really surprised at the result. I did the over-dyeing over a few days so it wasn't a huge, arduous task and it was also a lot easier because I already had the dyes mixed in squirt bottles and stored in the fridge without soda ash added.

Soda Ash is the chemical that fixes the dyes to the fabric and once soda ash is added to dye it doesn't last very long.

The over-dyed colours were much richer and creamier and I loved the result when over-dyed with another colour as well.

In this first photo the four fabrics on the top were dyed twice with Grape and the bottom four were only dyed once.

Grape over-dye

In this next photo I over-dyed Grape with Turquoise. You can see the grape on top and the turquoise over-dye underneath.

Next I tried over-dyeing fuchsia with Grape, I love the colour.

Lemon yellow when over-dyed took on a slight greenish tinge. The top fabrics are dyed once and the bottom four has been dyed twice.

The first 4 fabrics in the next photo were orange over-dyed with orange and the next 4 photos were lemon yellow over-dyed with orange.

Then I tried orange with a yellow over-dye. The top 4 photo are orange and the bottom 4 are orange over-dyed with lemon yellow.

When I over-dyed lemon yellow onto turquoise they immediately turned green, because blue and yellow make green.

Lastly I over-dyed turquoise fabrics with turquoise and got a lovely rich turquoise colour.

I was surprised at how much better the colour is when the fabrics are over-dyed but of course that means dyeing your own fabric is double the work. What surprised me most of all was how much softer the over-dyed fabric felt compared to just once through the dye.

The next question is whether I want to continue dyeing fabric or not, I am not sure that I like all the work involved. I will have to see how and if I use these dyed fabrics first. The clear colours are much brighter than I am used to, I usually like colours that are a bit more subtle.

The cooler weather is upon us in Australia so that is probably the end of my dyeing for a while anyway. I wonder if I will have used these fabrics by next summer. This is my year of experimentation and I have no idea how I will end up working by the end of the year.

AQC starts on Thursday and goes through until Sunday, I will be there every day. I am really looking forward to seeing all the quilts, the shops and most of all catching up with quilting friends from all over Australia.

Bye for now,

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