I have done a little dyeing of fabric using Procion dyes, but am in no way an expert. The outcome is always a little serendipitous – a word I rarely use, but in this case it is appropriate. I never know the outcome, it might be wonderful, or it might all end up a muddy brown! Imagine my surprise then, when a friend asked me to make a small amount of dye for her, orange and lime green, enough to dye about a fat quarter of fabric. I don’t think she knows what a novice I am, or what was involved, but I was happy to try. After consulting various books for a recipe giving the proportions of red, yellow and blue for each, the dye was made and delivered to her before Christmas. She later rang to tell me it had been a great success, and I was both relieved and surprised.
The point of this background story is that I was left with three pots of concentrated dye in the primary colours and did not want to throw it out. So I have been playing with dyes for the last couple of days, experimenting with folding, stitching and tying the fabric, as well as colour mixing, and now have more than a dozen pieces of fabric in various hues.
I would love to know how to do this and be able to guarantee the outcome, a particular colour or pattern, and need to do a lot more experimenting. It seems, as in most things, there is more than one way of doing it as every book or online source I read seems to have a slightly different method of treating the fabric pre dye-bath, and amounts of dye powder to use. I think this must lessen the risk of total disaster!
What will I use these for? Not sure, but as I am doing a four day course at the Australian Quilt Convention in April with Rosalie Dace, and one of the classes is called Confident Colour, I guess they may well be useful.