Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Making the most of leftovers...

During the last weeks of my sons’s career in kindergarten I had an extensive tie-dye party with the children so they would have T-shirts to remember their kindergarten days by. At the end of the party I had a few bottles with color leftovers. Those I could not let go to waste, after all the dye powder is too extensive to just dump something like that down the drain.

For the regular instalments of the fabric club I try to stick to the recipes which I have come up with in my five different systematic dye charts, in order to make them as reproducable as possible. But even then the shades can vary considerably from my samples. That’s the theoretical knowledge put to reality – each and every dye batch will produce different results, even if the same recipe was used. For example, in this picture you can see the samples I chose when I decided upon my July collection, put right next to the results of the July dyeing.

I assume that this noticeable difference was caaused partly by the fact that my systematic dye chart was produced with small swatches, and partly by the fact that I used a different kind of fabric for the July collection. Each fabric dyes differently. In this case it didn’t matter to me. The combinability of the fabrics results from that fact that the colors were all mixed from the same colors. The entire collection as such was well balanced and didn’t depend on the close matching of the collection fabrics with the color of the samples.

July collection of the fabric club
The leftovers from dyeing T-shirts gave me a chance to indulge in my favorite way of dyeing, however – experimenting without having to think about exact measurements. The colors I had were pre-mixed, I had different amounts of each one left, and all I had to do was use them up.
So I went ahead and took a swing at what I had seen when translating for Jan Myers-Newbury, i.e. what she called a „three primary-mix“. (Of course the larger number of colors in my systematic dye charts are mixed from three basic colors, too... but this was doing it free-style.) And I decided to do several dilutions, too. They turned out a noticeably different shade than the brown in the July collection.

"Three-primary mix" with 4 dilutions
These fabrics will soon be available from my website justcolours.de, they can then be found via the link “Meterware” (yardage).

Everything that was still left after that was mixed in combinations of two colors. And a very nice shade of yellow, not a clear color either.

In the dye-bath...
... and finished.
Now these mixings are definitely not reproducible because I did not take any notes regarding which colors I mixed for the kindergarten project, nor how much I had left and which of these were paired with with. I just love pouring things together and let myself be surprised by the results. In any case they turned out to be pleasing and strong secondary mixes. Of course it would have made a lot of sense to go into dilutions with these colors, too, but I did not have enough fabric. What I have left is just enough for the upcoming September-collection. I will make sure, though, that I always have enough fabric at home to include several dilutions in my production whenever I get an attack of experimenting-mood!

No comments:

Post a Comment