Ice dyeing in January?

IMG_0591

 

The other day I recieved an inquiry about ice dyeing a large piece of fabric for a quilt back. It got me to thinking about how I use ice dyed fabric. While working on my year-end inventory I found several items where ice dyed fabric is used. Partly, I think, it is the contrast of whatever the focus fabric or design is to the subtle color that can arise from dyeing wth ice. There is an ethreal quality to the image, softer lines and muted color contrasting with some very sharp lines and bold color.

IMG_1529-1-rotated.jpeg

Ice melting on linen rayon.

One of the things I find fascinating about the ice dyed process is how the dye will travel following the melting ice. Also, how it will break into colors that define the color of the dye when fully wet. If you want to know what dye pigments your color is made from try this method. I think my favorite use of ice dyed fabric is as backing for a quilt top. I know some people just use what they have not really careing, but to me there is an aesthetic that goes along with all the hard work of  piecing the quilt top. I try to use a backing that mirrors the colors in the top, or is the same as the sashing in the top, or just adds some kind of aesthetic. I don’t know about you, but my quilts get wrapped around, used as shawls, capes and tents, folded on the end of the bed or couch or chair… I want the visual of the back to be as pleasing as the front.

IMG_1645-rotated.jpeg

Whole Cloth Bedspread ice dyed in navy.

I feel the same way about the inside of my hand dyed fabric bags. Ice dyed fabric for lining has a lighter feel then the exterior of the bag. It adds another layer of the uniqueness and ‘one of a kind’ attibute of my work.

There is a lot of blue here. I do lean towards that color spectrum. But here are two patches of Pagoda Red ice dyed on linen cotton for a new Baker Bag that is on the sewing table.

So visit my shop dailyhanddyedtextiles.com to see more of these creations. And have a lovely afternoon!

 

 

What a year this has been, update!

Or trying to maintain a home business while moving to a new city.

I am looking forward to the new year. My new sewing studio and creative hub of the house looks out over a stand of Douglas Fir and other maple tress that provide amazing color in the fall. The birds chatter, as flocks of them vie for the seed at the feeder. I think the birds have declared the back yard a safe zone. So far we have seen no cats in the neighborhood. This is a great place to let the creative ideas and inspirations percolate, until the finished product is accomplished.

The view from our new office. We never noticed the seasons changes so marvelously in the city.
The view from my new studio window on the second floor! I can hear the neighborhood children laughing and giggling in the park. It is such a happy sound.

My most recent activity for getting back into the swing of dyeing fabric was to tie up some Kona cotton for shibori fat quarters. Indigo blue is the biggest attraction in my business, and yet I really love playing with other colors and combinations…

but here we go with a few examples of what one can find in a fat quarter bundle of indigo blue Kona Cotton.

The typical tie dye around a marble.
One of my personal favorites – using all sorts of clips or clothes pins to create different textures.

And then there is the honeycomb technique. I love the unpredicatbility of the dye flow through the folds of the honeycomb.

The results: a fat quarter bundle of shibori hand dyed Kona cotton fabric on a bed of rust dyed linen/cotton fabric. I love this combination of blue and rust. This is such a great combo for a quilt top.

Until next time. I have made a vow to myself to not let the distance between blogs be so great !!! We will see, but I appreciate those of you that read this!

Unti next time .

summer fun, ice dyeing

Ice dyeing is a process of setting up the mordanted fabric and covering with ice. Then a small amount of dye powder is sprinkled on the ice. (I use a mesh tea strainer to help me sprinkle.) The tub with fabric, ice, and dye is left to its own devices and as the ice melts it carries the dye particles through the fabric and trickles down the folds and creases. The dye particles are diluted by the water that the ice makes as it melts, revealing intricate and lovely patterns.

Summer has brought us lots of hot weather. Intrigued by the patterns of ice dyeing, I set aside some studio time to explore ice dying on a variety of fabrics. The results were fabulous and very interesting. Each fabric has its own characteristics and each takes the dye a little differently.

I have found that cotton, maybe obviously, produced some of the best patterns. I assume that the fiber of cotton is more open then other fibers and thus takes the dye well. Here are my observations:

Cotton will yield some really bright colors along with subtle spaces where the dye has diluted.

Linen Cotton also lends itself well to ice dyeing.

Cotton duck (10 oz. canvas) reveals subtle patterns with intense color in places.

Linen rayon produces very soft fuzzy patterns. The color is somewhat diluted looking. It is not a look for everyone, but I think I may stencil some interest spots into the pattern. That is a whole other bog topic!

The color choices also, make a difference. What happens when the dye starts to run with the melted ice is a separation of the colors of dye particles that make up the dye. That was a mouthful! So look at the example: sapphire blue. What do you see? Blues, reds, lavenders? The dye has these color components to make the sapphire color when dissolved in water. As the powder is sprinkled on the ice, there is no mixing of the dye particles to make the one color of sapphire. Instead the individual components might separate, if they mix it is as the melting ice wets dye particles together. They do so at will. I find the results fascinating. Some I love, some I will cut up and use as sashing or borders in a quilt. There are endless possibilities for creativity!

There are a number of blogs and videos with steps about the process of ice dyeing. Give it a try. Let my know what you did! OR Step over to my Shop and see all the fabulous hand dyed fabrics and look for the iced dye category.

 

Dyeing in denim.

The last month has seen a number of custom requests for my dyed 10 ounce bull denim, so last week I embarked on a series of experiments with the denim. I folded several pieces using shibori and itijame methods. I also wondered what ice dying heavy fabric would do. Off we went on this experiment. I choose four colors: indigo blue, Pagoda Red, an emerald-green and a jade green. I had done a few yards in indigo blue and in a black, also a charcoal gray.

I was pleasantly surprised with the new colors. The blue was fabulous – lovely irregular stripes. The red piece in 3″ itijame squares just popped! The greens were pinned and tied more intensely than the other two pieces. This resulted in softer, more ethereal color.

Having gotten the shibori pieces under way and in the dye bath I set some fabric up for ice dying. As I had a piece of cotton duck from another project, I decided to see what it would do in the ice too. I must say the cotton duck is marvelous. The denim is softer and more muted. There are many reasons for any of these results. It will take further experiments to determine what works best for me!

New Directions: Hand Dyeing Fabric.

The deadline for Christmas gifts is over for another year and we launch right into a plethora of January and February birthdays! However, in the weeks in-betweenI have returned to a craft that has fasinated me for forty years – the art of hand dyeing fabric.

Recently, I came across two scarves that I had done in a master class on Shibori – the art of hand dyeing with indigo. Our instructor was a Japanese Dye Master, from the sister city of where I was living at the time. We spent several days learning the art of sewing our designs into the fabric and then playing in the indigo dye. the results are stunning.

I took that knowledge and did some research on shibori. My take away from my results is that the more precise I am with my folds and the tighter I can make my resists, whether using blocks and clamps, clothespins, or rubber bands, the better I like the resulting designs. Also, I can control the dyeing by varying the thickness on my folds. Smaller pieces of fabric result in more uniform design throughout the fabric. Larger pieces (because the dye does not travel so far) result in a more random design.

Here is a gallery of last last few weeks:

Accordian pleated, folded into triangle, bound with sticks becomes this:

IMG_0720           IMG_0721

Accordian pleated, using a triangle block and clamps resulted in these two:IMG_0734

IMG_0731             IMG_0737

 

Same technique with the circle block (this one needs some experimentation to get the circle shape more prevalent ):

IMG_0704       IMG_0722

And perhaps my favorite so far – wooden clothespins:

IMG_0736IMG_0738

Next up: The resluts of these dyeing sprees. Stay tuned!