Wednesday, May 11, 2011

vat dyeing

when i was in vancouver last week i made a trip to maiwa, which is where i buy many of my dye supplies.  i normally buy from them online, but if in vancouver i definitely recommend a trip there - not only they have lots of stuff available that you can't buy through the website, but it's also a great excuse to make a trip to granville island, which is full of artist and artisan studios.

there were some vat dyes that caught my eye, and even though they're synthetic rather than natural, i bought a couple to experiment with.  the idea with vat dyes is that you use a cloth that is already dyed, and the 'vat' first discharges the original colour, then lays another colour on top of it.  i used some scarves that i had coloured a nice steel grey using just tannin and iron.

i was pretty pleased with the results, though i'm not really too keen on the crazy synthetic colours that resulted.  i know that i could lessen the intensity of the shades, but instead i'm going to try to recreate a similar effect using natural dyes.

to contrast, i have these lovely soft colours, which i'm going to add some layers of colour to today.  i know that i've been promising that i'd be opening my natural dye shop for weeks now, but i think that this week is really the one.  for now, better get dyeing.....

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