Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hand Dyes are Heaven

Here's an excellent reason to learn how to hand-dye fabric... I have about 10" x 43" of sky in the quilt I'm currently working on. It all has to be basically the same color, but there has to be a minute difference between the fabrics in order for the string piecing to look good. Because I was able to hand-dye my fabrics, I have five shades in various gradations of the color I need. Is that cool or what?!
If you haven't tried "low-water immersion dyeing", it's fabulous...very little water is needed--3 cups total per yard of fabric, and no salt is needed. Ann Johnston's book , Color by Accident, is a wonderful resource for this type of dyeing. It takes some water to rinse the fabric out later, but I rinse a few times with a tub of water in my deep sink then toss it into the washer for three quick rinse-and-spins. Then a final washing with hot water and Synthrapol is all that's needed when I do it. ***In case you're wondering, we have a high-efficiency (low water use) washing machine, and it's plenty of water for rinsing these fabrics.
Be sure to follow ALL safety recommendations with MX dyes.
Gotta get back to it.

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