Dyeing things gives me such a rush. It feels like magic, and also like haha! I got what I wanted for next to nothing!
A sewing friend who was moving away (a long time ago now) gave me some silk (crepe de chine?) from her fabric stash. Silk! I’ve never sewed with silk before. But I was stumped. The colors are all very, very pale, and I just couldn’t imagine myself wearing them. Paleness tends to wash me out. Months later I had a brainflash. What if I dyed the silk? But silk. Silk! It took me a long time to work up my nerve.
Finally, months after that, I started with a small piece and used the old Easter egg/ Kool Aid dye technique.
Initially I was going to try some embroidery or resist or something to give it some more interest, but then decided to keep it simple. I ended up really liking the color. Warning, though—-this was German Easter egg dye. PAAS will work the same, but I find their colors to be a bit, well, Easter eggy—whereas this green was nice and grassy. You can always mix your PAAS or Kool-Aid colors to get something a bit more nuanced. I think there are even tutorials out there on mixing Kool-Aid colors—-usually with regards to yarn dyeing.
On to silk batch #2. I was a little bolder this time with several larger pieces of pale blue, and decided for an indigo color using two shades of Deka fabric dye.
I didn’t use a full load of dye, but the fabric didn’t take the color as deeply as I’d expected. The blue I ended up with was beautiful but dried a good bit lighter than I wanted:
I really liked the mottled effect I got in this first dye job:
I dyed it one more time to get a deeper color. It doesn’t show up quite true in this photo (below), but I really like the way it turned out–it’s just a tiny bit deeper than the middle tone. The mottled effect is gone, though. I’m planning to make another Anda dress out of the fabric. Wish me luck! My most recent sewing projects have not been going very well.
For tips on overdyeing, check out this previous post. For more of my adventures in fiber art, click here.
Emily, in a sense, you remind me of the Pioneer Woman. Keep it up!
Well, I’ll take that as a compliment. Incidentally, did you know there’s a blog called “Pioneer Woman” about a woman who lives on a ranch or something like that? They’re making a movie about it. We have been reading Little House on the Prairie. The Wilders are much tougher than I am 🙂 I’m afraid.
I love dyeing too and I love your purple silk with all the lovely markings on it!
Well thank you very much! Glad to “meet” another dye enthusiast. Hope I can turn the silk into something nice to wear!
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