Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dyeing Scarves

I had fun last weekend dyeing scarves. Mom and I were going to dye with fiber reactive dyes, but discovered we were out of dye activator. Since I had the itch to do something messy, I decided to use the remains of a few Dye-na-Flow kits and some Setasilk to dye scarves. If you want to get technical about it, these aren't actually dyes, but paints that act like dyes. For dyeing scarf purposes it means you get more crisp patterning than smooth gradations when you do tie-dyeing. I tend to prefer calling tie-dyeing shibori because the Japanese word shibori doesn't conjure up images of 1970s psychedelic colors and patterns.

I did primarily arashi shibori or pole wrapping using PVC pipe. For traditional Japanese arashi shibori the cloth is wrapped and tied precisely on a pole, then the fabric is scrunched up, and dyed. I take a much more free-form approach to the process so the results are much less predictable. I like the surprise of not knowing how the scarf is going to turn out. It makes for some panic though since I get nervous that the color combinations could end up muddy and the patterns will be unbalanced and ugly.
 I think I did okay though. Here's a bunch of the scarves laid out on the table.
One of the fun things about using the Dye-na-Flow and Setacolor is you can use the Lumiere pearlescent paints with them to add some shimmer which you can see here in the darker areas that have a purple shimmer.
We've ordered more dye activator so if time permits we'll do more dyeing soon. Given that Holiday Open Studios at Western Ave. Studios happens the next two weekends, it could be a while. For contrast, here's a scarf dyed using the same pole wrapping technique using fiber reactive dyes instead of Dye-na-Flow and Setacolor silk paints.

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