A little over a week ago I returned from a rather disastrous dye class in WA. Two days ago I decided it was time to remedy that and see what I could do to over-dye some of the 12 yds of fabric which came home in pastel hues. I was a bit more concerned about the water issue seeing as we are in a drought as opposed to WA where everything is green and growing.
While I had used fresh dyes of tangerine, fuchsia and turquoise in WA, at home I used golden yellow, fuchsia and presumably turquoise. I say presumably because the dye was so old I could not read the label but dye spills on the exterior looked to be turquoise!
I pressed on in my wet studio experimentation of this new (to me) process. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to pour the mixed combinations into the baggies set on the wood countertop in the basement and not on my print table, which I did consider for maybe 10 secs. The reason it was so smart became abundantly clear later when I was sealing the stuffed baggies and loading into a plastic dishpan to batch. Excess dye had run out the bottoms of several bags and literally flooded the wood countertop. I mean flooded. The microwave was sitting in the purple river as were the cords of several pieces of equipment.
So I did what any self-respecting dyer would do. I went to the shelves of fabrics waiting to be transformed with dye and paint and pulled out one large, formerly peach commercial cotton table cloth which I paid $1 for in a thrift shop some years back. I tore it in half and mopped up the river of purple dye.
The other half I tossed into a baggie and poured in all the leftover dye. I also mopped up with an old linen printed dishtowel…you know the kind you pick up at Windsor Castle and it is gorgeous! Crisis=exquisite in my dyers manual!
I left all the fabric downstairs sitting in very small rinse buckets for at least 24 hours so I didn’t waste gallons rinsing out dye like back in the day.
So what have I learned from this big experiment? Possibly the best thing I could learn is that I can still dye fabric, with old dye, in primary colors and rinse in very little water. The thing is now I don’t have to for awhile as I have 12 new yards of beautiful cotton! Not that I was lacking for fabric anyway…