Sunday, February 12, 2012

Looking Forward (and Back) to Dyeing Adventures

I really enjoy dyeing fabric and fiber. This is a three-yard length of cotton/linen blend, dyed last summer. I can never resist tossing a few fabric scraps into the dye-bath, just to see what happens. These over-dyed scraps are indigo denim, black denim, and a cotton print.

Dyeing projects outdoors in the summer is the most pleasant way to work, but, unfortunately, at that time of year, we seldom have enough water in the well for the recommended amount of rinsing. I'm always looking for ways to get color-fast fabric with minimal water use. That's why I was very excited to find Melissa Will's Fabric Dyeing 101. In her hand-dyed fabric business, she's worked out a process that conserves water, electricity, and price-y fiber dyes. She's put together three e-books (priced for the frugal among us) detailing her methods for dyeing, for teaching dyeing workshops, and for managing a home-based business. (The business book is free, and a very enjoyable read, whether or not you're contemplating a fabric-dyeing business.)

Once I finish a few projects and clear some work space, I'm looking forward to trying her methods on a small scale, indoors.

Melissa's put up a link collection recently. It includes Paula Burch's dyeing pages, where I learned much of what I know about fabric dyes, and Melody Johnson's "The Lazy Dyer". It was Melody's blog that pointed me to Melissa's e-books, and I found Melody through a search for modular knitting patterns almost exactly a year ago.

Fabric Dyeing 101

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