I've been bitten (smitten?) by the dyeing bug. Yesterday morning I was so excited to get started on this project that I woke up at 5. A good thing, too, since dyeing takes so long. I'm pretty pleased with the results.
The colors did turn out lighter than I expected, which I attribute to one or all of the following:
- I'm using bleached pfd fabric (rather than unbleached--apparently the bleach never completely comes out of the fabric, and can affect the dye)
- I strained my dyes through cheesecloth, which worked really well to catch the gunk and unmixed particles, but may have removed too much of the color
- I only let the fabric soak in the dye for an hour
- I'm using the "lighter" set of primary colors from Dharma (fuschia, lemon yellow, and turquoise).
Last night I mixed up some sodium alginate and let it sit. I followed the directions in the Kemshalls' book, The Painted Quilt and mixed 2 t. SA with 1-1/2 c. of water, and proceeded to try to whisk this sludge. I kept adding water until the entire tub was filled, and that stuff just kept getting thicker, it seemed. I finally let it sit overnight and took a spoonful this morning and mixed it with more water to get a thick honey consistency. Then I added in some of the leftover dye concentrate from yesterday, and proceeded to stamp, roll, and brush. I played with 3 pieces of fabric--1 undyed, 2 previously dyed--and rolled them up to set for 24 hours, so I'll see tomorrow what I turn out with.
In the meantime, I have to get a grip. It's awfully hard to go to the day-job after getting up at 5 and putting in a couple of labor-intensive hours dyeing fabric!