My friend Anna is a tie-dyer. She does the most amazing pieces, combining colors, creating images. She works with precision, using the right balance of dyes and accompanying chemicals to get long-lasting, exact colors. She mentioned the other day that she is going to start working with pigments to try to get more muted colors in her work.
My friend Tina is a more of a mad scientist when it comes to working with dyes and has no inhibitions about plopping a gorgeous gown into a big bin of a couple of boxes of dye and then over dyeing the whole thing in a different color – leaving the garment in the vat for three or four days or whatever.
Kathrin, whose blog annekata I visit quite often, has been experimenting with eco-dyes. Dyes made from natural ingredients like the water left over from soaking black beans. She points to the website of India Flint, an Australian who combines all three approaches.
Different approaches, both achieving the same result – amazing textiles. It certainly has given me the bug (but not the one used to color Starbucks’ strawberry frappachinos, although that might be cool) to start dyeing my own felts and fabrics for my work.
I picked up a book the other day entitled “Fortunes in Formulas”. It has quite a few formulas for dyeing various fabrics… super helpful. I think I’ll stick to Tina’s approach for awhile. And will start saving my bean water.
Lori April 27, 2012
Our grandmother used to dye fabrics with natural colours she would get from plants she grew in the garden. I really wish I had paid more attention when I was young.