Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gradations by Squeezing and Wringing

My new and insanely talented friend, Patsy Thompson,  of Patsy Thompson Designs brought me some fabric samples a few weeks ago to play with.  I dyed up a small piece each of cotton/silk "radiance," cotton sateen, cotton bamboo, and egyptian cotton.  Each piece was dyed in the same dye bath.  Look at the differences!

From top to bottom:

Egyptian cotton
cotton sateen

Yesterday I decided to try Melody Johnson's "Lazy Dyer" technique for creating solids.  She fondly refers to this method as the Squeeze and Wring.

I used a natural color cotton sateen (my new favorite fabric for dyeing) and worked with deep navy, strongest red, and deep orange to create 3 and 4 step gradations.  Using the same amount of dye concentrate, each step was made by adding twice the water as the previous step.  That sounds pretty confusing...let me try again.  I used 1/4 cup dye concentrate Straight Up for the darkest piece, then used 1/4 cup dye concentrate plus 1/4 cup water for the medium dark piece, then 1/4 cup dye concentrate plus 1/2 cup water for the light piece.

I had an extra 1/4 yard of fabric (how that is possible dividing a yard into 4 pieces is my own stupidity for tearing along the selvedge without realizing it before it was too late!) so I did an extra piece of dark navy using 1/4 cup concentrate with 3/4 cup water.  I actually LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the color!!  It reminds me of a great pair of blue jeans.

Nobody warned me how addictive dyeing fabrics can be. 

And I am trying to keep a journal of my dyeing recipes.  You'd think since I'm a trained CPA I was meticulous and organized!  You'd be wrong!!!  My office during tax season used to look like a bomb exploded in there, but I always knew where everything was, well almost everything.


It's a start in the right direction at least.


  1. bravo à toi! ce violet est vraiment magnifique j'aime beaucoup! nous sommes vraiment très loin, je suis en Espagne, mais j'aimerai t'avoir Comme professeur!

    merci bonne journée