Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From messy to beautiful

Hand dyed thread, so special for tatting and other lace work, begins as plain white thread (of high quality) and messy dye (I use Fiber-Reactive dye).

I wear a protective face mask to avoid breathing in the dry dye powder until it has been mixed into liquid form.






The wet dye color looks much darker than the finished color will look on the thread.

The way I make hand dyed thread (HDT) is to lay out the skeins onto plastic wrap and paint the dye on with a brush. There are other methods too, but this is how I do it. For cotton thread, I just roll up the skeins into the plastic and let them "cure".







If I'm dyeing a yarn with a wool content, I add some vinegar to the dye, since wool fiber needs an low pH, as opposed to the high pH required by cotton. Then I give the plastic-wrapped wool a "steambath" for 45 minutes.


(I use a pot dedicated to dyeing purposes).




Then, the skeins are rinsed, rinsed, rinsed! Washed and rinsed some more, to make sure that the finished HDT is clean and will not "bleed" color when it is in use.

The straightened skeins are left to air dry, then twisted into attractive skeins to show.







 




Beautiful HDT!

18 comments:

Kajin said...

Beautiful indeed!

Thank you for sharing your method of dying :-)

Joansie said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the process.

Isdihara said...

Wow, thanks for sharing your process. The transformation is miraculous indeed.

Rayanna said...

WOW, what talent you have. Thanks for sharing how you do it.

Krystle said...

I love this color! Love love love. Lol I've started dyeing my own thread but that doesn't mean I'll not be on your etsy doorstep! As soon my paypal allows I'll be ordering some tourmaline.

andrea j said...

Thanks for sharing the process.
This is beautiful,too.I like it!

❦TattingChic said...

Yes, I notice that you do rinse very well. My hands do not feel irritated when I tat with your HDT! I appreciate all the hardwork you put into your beautiful HDT's as I do with all of the wonderful HDT artists out there. You're the leader of the pack! Ha! Do you remember that song from the 60's? Don't answer that!

yarnplayer said...

Thank you, everyone, I'm glad you enjoyed seeing more of the process in making HDT.

TattingChic, I think you must have heard that song on an "oldies" station, LOL :-)

Kathy Niklewicz said...

I think the whole process is amazing! I can't imagine how you figure out how each skein will turn out - and then how you can get the same colorways in other skeins.

I knew it was complicated and time comsuming, and you have confirmed it! Thanks for taking time to explain this!

Clyde said...

Thank you for all your hard work. We lover's of HDT really appreciate it.

Elizabeth said...

Amen to that, Clyde.

Anonymous said...

Very timely. I am planning to dye a batch of wool to make socks. I know its very different than cotton so I have to make sure I know the process well.

Zarina said...

That post about wool dyeing was me - too fast clicking the enter button.

Ленхен said...

Good day!
Please, couldn't you explain -- what is "Fiber-Reactive dye"? And what kinds of it are usable for cotton thread....

yarnplayer said...

Fiber reactive dye (Procion MX) is very good for dyeing cotton thread. There is much detailed information about it on Paula Burch's website:
http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/fiberreactive.shtml

Ленхен said...

Thank You!!

Orlythe said...

Breathtaking work! I dye (for my own use) cotton embroidery floss, and enjoyed reading about your creative work. The floss is more delicate, more subject to abrasion than Cordonnet-style thread, and I struggle with that in the handling. Do you use soda ash? Is your thread pre-soaked in it and then dried, or is the soda ash mixed into your dye? Thank you so much for the inspiration!

yarnplayer said...

Hi Orlythe, thanks for the compliments. In answer to your questions, yes, I presoak my thread in a soda ash solution. I then paint the prepared dye on while the thread is wet.