Sunday, April 22, 2012

Midwest Travels--Part IV Scarf Dyeing

Lots of photos ahead!

The $75 scarf dyeing class taught by Heather Thomas that my sister Kathy and I took included all the materials--good thing, since neither of us had any supplies.  We each got three 5 mm white silk scarves in class and learned three techniques.  Here's how mine turned out:

From L to R: resist with one color dye submersion; accordion pleating into a triangle and dipping points in three colors; and the three color foam-brush painted scarf I showed before.  I love the argyle effect on the middle one.  The instructor called me a rebel for that, since we were supposed to have chosen three colors close to each other on the color wheel and I didn't!  She did like what I did, though :)

I tried out some rubber stamping on the painted scarf, which I did not do well since I have never done any previously, but enough to get the idea.  You can see a splotch of blue where Kathy's dye got on my scarf since the workspace was not what the teacher requested and we overlapped when laying out the scarves on the tables to paint.

This weird looking bundle is one of the two extra scarves Kathy bought at the vendor booth and brought to class, since she had done some dyeing before and wanted to play more.  We brought these home wet, in baggies.

The weird bundle produced this scarf posed across the bottom.  Amazing, right?

These were all done with slightly different techniques.  Isn't the green one yummy?  Kathy also did some stamping on her painted quilt (on the left).  Additional dyes and scarves were purchased so we could teach Mom and Florence how to make some.  Florence was most dubious about the project because she said she "didn't have a crafty bone in her body". 

This technique Kathy showed her was simply scrunching the scarf and pouring the diluted dye directly on the silk, and letting it dry all scrunched up.  Some salt was also sprinkled on to draw out some of the dye and create texture. There was twisting, pleating, rubber band wrapping, scrunching and dyeing happening for a solid 15 minutes in Florence's kitchen. 

Silly Mom providing comic relief!

Soaking up the purple dye.

Alien looking single color resist.

Florence's twist, resist, and pour.

Mom's two scarves.  The one on the left was pleated, ironed, wet, and then dye poured on.  It was supposed to be just the gray, but some dye ran from Florence's scrunched scarf as we moved the plastic they were placed on to dry to another part of the kitchen--and it added a lot of interest with the pretty teal blue on the edges.  The pink and lavendar scarf was a lovely color surprise since we were going for darker.

Florence's wonderful scarves.  She was totally stunned at how they turned out, especially the stripes. On the right, the salt bleached out some of the dye and gave it a Monet painting effect. 

Florence loved her scarves!  We were so pleased she played crafts with us.  The scarves were steam pressed to heat set the dye and, according to the teacher, were then supposed to be machine washable and dryable--the more washings, the softer the scarf.  I had hand washed Mom's gray scarf with a little dishwashing soap and minimal rinsing after the steam press and then ironed it again before I took the photos, and it turned out fine.  WARNING: Florence emailed me later to say she put the blue/green Monet scarf in the washing machine and, sadly, most of the dye was lost!  I had emptied a whole iron's worth of steam into that scarf while pressing it so I was surprised it did not heat set.  Florence suggested that gentle hand washing was probably best.  I will iron my scarves some more before trying to hand wash them, I think!


Quilter Kathy said...

How beautiful! And what fun!

Kate said...

Gorgeous scarves! I can't pick a favorite they are all beautiful.

Shay said...

I havent done anything like this since I was a kid. Another thing for my "must try " list. Your creations look fabulous!

Barb said...

WOW!!! What fun!!

Tanya said...

Indigo is the main dye in our part of the world... And I have tried handkerchiefs. It is interesting to see how the indigo plants ferment and how the color darkens when exposed to oxygen...
Say hi to your mom for me! I still appreciate the hand cream she gave me at the quilt festival a couple of years ago!

Stephanie said...

All so gorgeous. Love the different effects from the varying techniques. Interesting about the dye coming out upon washing. I do wonder what will happen when hand washed.

One Minnesota Quilter said...

I think all of the scarves that each of you made look very pretty. It is always a learning curve when working with dyes - but that is what makes it fun - but in your case you get to wear it! :)

Patrica said...

You got your money's worth for sure - nice gifts for the next 10 years! So much fun.