Monday, April 27, 2009

Stupid, stupid, stupid

Yup, that's me.
I had this crazy idea that I could dye this fabric without taking it off the rolls.
My husband said "no way".
My friend Chris said "don't think so".
But I had to try it.
First I weighed the rolls, I needed 20 lbs of fabric dyed a olive green.
Now these gloves look all professional, but in reality, they are useless. Stay tuned.

The powdered dye was a coral color, but it really is olive green, actually it is called celery, not sure why. It is a MX reactive dye for cotton from Pro Chemical. They have a great site, and they even have directions. Of course, none of those included dyeing fabric in rolls.
Three teaspoons of dye per 2 cups of water is enough for 1 lb of material. Get out the paper and pen, do some calculating to get it right.
I had to put all this salt in the water first, and mix it thoroughly.
I use this rubber tub that my husband bought for me at Tractor Supply. I just filled it with the hose. Today was a really warm, sunny day, a "perfect day to dye".

I started mixing the dye in the kitchen, then moved out to the back yard.
This is the soda ash......which I also mixed with water after the fabric had been in the dye bath for a while.
OK, here we are......putting 20 lbs of rolls in the dye......but of course they wouldn't stay submerged, so I had to innovate. My husband had just brought some bricks over from our back yard at home, so I used them to weight down the rolls.
This roll of fabric.......this is what I SHOULD have done......what do they say about hind sight being 20/20. Yeah.
Had I spent the time to unwind all those rolls into balls, while annoying at the time, I would have been done with this dyeing project in a couple of hours.
But I had to know if this would work. And I found out. It doesn't.
The fabric is just wound so tight, the dye could not completely seep through. When I unwound one, about half way into it, the original color and the dyed fabric were about 50/50. Not good.

By this time, the gloves had ripped, my nails were stained, and I had splashed it on my pants. And I realized that I needed to unwind all this fabric from the rolls, and rewind it into balls. Which I did. It took a lot longer than I care to divulge at this time. And by the time I was finished, my pants, my socks, my shoes, my hands, and one arm to the elbow were a lovely shade of olive.
And the fabric was not yet the color I wanted.
So I decided to take yet another chance.
If I took the fabric out of the tub to rinse, I would have 20 lbs of fabric the wrong shade of green, so I figured I didn't have much to lose by leaving it in the dye all night.
So that is where it is. Weighted down with a couple of boards and bricks.
In the morning, I will rinse it all, and hang it on a clothes rack outside to dry.
And while it is drying, I will be upstairs weaving the last towel on the Macomber.
A prospect that looks like a whole lot more fun than what I did today.
And little Ava is coming to visit her Mimi, and her little face is guaranteed to make me smile.


Karen said...

Sorry about the dyeing experiment. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they turn out totally different. Hope the strips turns out dark green in the morning after all that! Really enjoy your posts, and the photos.

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

I can't wait to see what happens......sounds like an adventure!! ;)

Anonymous said...

What a lot of work to do! I hope it turned out good and your fabric is the same colour as your pants and arms ;-))

Sharon said...

To say your project was ambitious would be an understatement. Ten pounds of fabric strips!! I'm impressed.

Unknown said...

That looks like a really big job! It looks like it worked out though.

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