This glorious yellow rayon was the first solid rayon I found at Spotlight a year or 2 ago. I had great visions of a summery dress, however it is, rather, yellow-gold... Lovely to feel, nice and drapey, but, far to overwhelmingly yellow for a dress for me. So, inspired by all of the indigo workshops that have been filling my Pinterest feed, and Nicki's solar dyeing for One Year One Outfit, I set out to learn a little bit about dyeing.
Rayon is a cellulose fibre, like cotton and linen, so procion dyes with a Soda Ash pretreatment seemed to be the way forward. I found the instruction sheets on KraftKolours' website to be really useful, so I obtained Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash) from the supermarket, pre-soaked some linen and the rayon, then ventured out to KraftKolour, a local dyeing supplier. (This isn't an ad, I have no affiliations with anybody & my only other link to local dyeing suppliers has relocated to the country)
The staff at KraftKolour were fabulous - really knowledgeable and enthusiastic with sharing their knowledge, able to meet me where I was (theory rich with zero experience), and with no hard selling. I purchased the primary colours, and black, and a bottle of Dynazol rinse off. And 2 small sets of perspex resists, a circle and a hexagon.
That the primary red was a pink had perplexed me and I'm still not 100% sure on the chemistry involved, but I've got a better understanding of why; and more importantly, to mix it with yellow for a scarlet or 'paint primary' red.
While looking up 'dyeing recipes', I found the visuals of the Dreamline Textile Painting Recipes to be very valuable as there were actual colours, and not just names of colours. (Memo to Bendigo Woollen Mills, Malachite is green, not blue, just saying...). My primary colours are closest to the first table (mine are in brackets)
I was aiming for an oriental/eastern red (a brownish red), so I followed the directions for the colour described as "quartz" which were 40%yellow (KK MX8G), 40%ruby (KK MX8B) & 20%turquoise (KK MX4-GD).
Reserving the right to add black (KK MX2R) if needed.
|Assembling my supplies|
I adore the Arashi 'storm' pole wrapping technique and attempted it on my largest piece. Tightly binding the rayon around the piece of pvc pipe on the bias did stretch it off grain however. It was the quickest and most relaxed of the techniques I sampled.
|My test crease = yes I like the patterns created by wrapping it tightly around the pipe|
|all prepared and ready to be dyed|
The final piece was folded into triangles and a hexagon resist was placed off centre, on one of the triangles' sides, this is the floral design (the triangles above).
|The bucket! Awaiting the dye|
I poured my dye bath down the wrapped pole and into the bucket where the other fabric was waiting.
After 20min, I added tepid salty water and left them all for another 30min.
I could have left them in the dye bath for much longer, and had initially intended to wrap the pole in plastic overnight, however excitement got the better of me and I placed them in a solution of tepid water and Dyzanol rinse off (2mls/L) for 20min, unwrapping and releasing them from their bindings during this time. At the very centre of the rectangular resist, the rayon was still dry.
|L-R: 2xRectangle wood resists, circular resist, Arashi, triangular hexagon & sample grey linen rectangle at back|
I was nicely surprised that the washing machine rinse water (after the initial soaking in tepid water) was barely coloured, such a change from when I've played with dyes in the past!
There was a method to my madness in pre-cutting my rayon, each piece was the right size for a pattern piece for Lily Sage & Co's new pattern The Sea Change Top. In the end, I used the undyed yellow rayon for the top's bands and really like the effect.
Sewing the Sea Change Top was a pleasure, so much so that I did it twice ;) I was a pattern tester for this top as, besotted by Debbies two amazing versions, I knew I really wanted some of them in my wardrobe and volunteered for testing. I've got third top just cut out, so I'll let Sea Change have a post all of it's own soon.
|fabulous sleeves and photobomber|
SeaChange is available now at Lily Sage & Co, with a discount this week.
and I am very excited about both Shibori resist dyeing and Indigo vat workshops to be run by KraftKolour later this year!