Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dyeing two pieces with the same colors-very different results

These two pieces were folded up and each dyed with the following dye concentrates:

  • 2 T boysenberry
  • 2 T navy
  • 1 T tangerine
  • 1 T strong orange

The only difference was applying the soda ash solution to one piece before adding the dyes, the other adding the soda ash after the dyes had been applied and waiting about 10 minutes.

Here they are waiting in my sink to be rinsed out:

The before piece is on the left below, the after on the right--they don't look similar at all, do they?
This shows that the tangerine & orange blended a bit with the navy and made a nice green, while the same colors pretty much disappeared in the piece that had the soda ash applied afterwards.
I'm just experimenting with the low water immersion techniques--I'm not fond of either of these pieces and will probably overdye them, but this makes me realize how little variations in dyeing techniques can make a world of difference.

14 comments:

  1. Funny to see how different they look. I think it is time that I'm going into the experiment as well. Thank you for sharing this.

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  2. Great experiment, Laura! I used to add my soda ash about 30 minutes after the dyes, but have done a pre-soak for a few years now. Not only is it more convenient, but I also like the results I get better this way.

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  3. Love this experiment! I've been presoaking my fabric since I started dyeing three years ago and just start adding the soda ash to the dye. I think I may need to reconsider and go back to presoaking.

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  4. Really interesting experiment Laura - how did you add the SA after the dye? Did you pour it over as a solution? I imagine that would cause more mixing than as Lynda says mixing your dyes with SA just before adding your material....

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  5. Very interesting experiment! What a difference! I'm a pre-soaker as well. It's just easier.

    ONE NOTE: Don't know if anyone has mentioned it before but....I live in Minnesota USA (aka The Frozen Tundra)I often don't have the option of waiting for warm weather to dye. I put the dye on the fabric in a plastic baggie, seal it and put it in the hot water closet. Works Great!! Just FYI...

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  6. Kelly, Don't know what a hot water closet is! Our hot water just sits down in the cold basement - no special room! :-)

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  7. Thats a good experiment! Thank you for sharing!

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  8. Ours is in the attic. I guess if it leaks one day my hallway will be flooded in hot water! I wonder what genius thought of that. Of corse in Louisiana we have no basements.

    I never thought about the effect of the soda ash and when it goes in. I love both those pieces, I will take them any day!!!

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  9. Teri, I used a soda solution already mixed for both pieces. For the "before" fabric I soaked the piece for about 10 minutes, squished it all down into my container, then poured on the dyes and squished it all down hard again. For the "after" one, I also squished each solution down hard into the fabric before applying the next (just like Ann Johnston does in her DVD!)

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  10. I always use the soda ash to soak my fabrics first before I apply dye on them. The soda ash opens the fabric fibers and prepares them for the acceptance of the dye molecules. If not the Dye molecules swim around and attach theselves to the water molecules before they are attached to the fibers.

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  11. I always use the soda ash to soak my fabrics first before I apply dye on them. The soda ash opens the fabric fibers and prepares them for the acceptance of the dye molecules. If not the Dye molecules swim around and attach theselves to the water molecules before they are attached to the fibers.

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  12. Wow, GREAT illustration of the difference, thank you SO much!!!
    ~ Christina

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  13. I'm a soda ash first person too! I soak just long enough to make sure the fabric is covered then I let the fabric spin in the washing machine for about 9 minutes and then dye. It is damp, but barely. Thanks for the comparison though, it is nice to know how they look with different treatments.

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  14. Deborah, Is it a dye dedicated machine or do you use this for laundry too?

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