Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Been dyeing

I have had pieces of organic cotton/spandex knit cut for a couple of weeks in preparation for dyeing.  I don't know why it took me so long to do it.  I have a tendency to over-think things.  This dye batch I wanted to get slightly deeper colours than I have dyed in the past.  I know it's as simple as adding more dye, but this time I was going to take a more scientific approach.

Sometimes my yellow, turquoise and green come out lighter than my red, orange, violet.  With Procion MX dyes it is a well known fact that you have to use more turquoise to get a similar intensity as other colours.  I don't use Procion dyes, but Drimarene K dyes.  But since they are both fibre reactive dyes, I thought I'd apply a similar principle. 

I weighed my fabric pieces, so I could get my weight of goods.  Funnily enough I could have avoided weighing since I know the gsm of the fabric.  Weighing the fabric did confirm that the knit is 220gsm.   The other reason that I thought I would use the OWG (on weight of goods) is that I was dyeing different lengths of fabric.  I don't tend to use as much yellow and orange, so thought I would only dye 2m instead of 3m. 

Alot of the information on how much dye to use is based on volume which doesn't really work for me as I always weighed my dyes.  For me it is easy and I know I will get reproducible results.    I had a look at some information on the Dharma website and also looked at recommendations for a medium level of dyeing on Paula Burch's site.   And then I decided how much dye to use on those recommendations and my experience. 

Here is the fabric.  The colours are darker than last time I dyed which is expected as I used more dye.

rainbow organic cotton spandex
I think the colours actually look a bit flat in the photo. The green, yellow and blue do go well with the other colours.  

According to my calculations I used
1% OWG for yellow
0.76% OWG for orange
0.76% OWG  for fuschia
1% OWG for turquoise
1% OWG for green
0.76% OWG for violet

I used salt for all of the colours even though sodium sulphate is recommended for turquoise and any blends using turquoise (green).  It is worthwhile to note that I've read that turquoise requires a higher reaction temperature.  I made sure that I added warm/hot water at each step (dye, salt, soda ash) to provide some heat.   I also think that I had the right balance of water.  I don't use lots and lots of water as I don't want perfectly dyed fabric.  I like it to have a mottled hand-dyed look.  The mottling in this batch is obvious without having huge variations in colour.   If you want something perfectly dyed then use a washing machine to get flat, even colour.

Some of this fabric is destined for rainbow sleeve Antonia tops.

13 comments:

cherri said...

They look beautiful and bright - I love the intensity of the orange. Can't wait to see their final form!

michal said...

How I love seeing the colours you reach!

Peta said...

Love them all, gorgeous!

Carolyn said...

wow what a science!

They all look wonderful to me, even in the photo.

Tas said...

I see lots of rainbow gorgeousness in your near future :)

Lesley said...

Gorgeous as always Sara

mermaids said...

stunning

The Handmaden said...

Love the colours - beautiful!

Kaja said...

Gorgeous! I am not THAT into rainbows, but these colors can make anyone change their minds...

Karen said...

Just beautiful Sara!

I am totally lost on your description of dyes though. Think I'll just sit back and feast my eyes on the fabric instead of trying to decipher ;)

Kx

Kylie said...

Thy look great - such nice colours.

Steffi said...

I love them all,Sara!Great colours!

Gill - That British Woman said...

it's quite a science dying fabric.........

Gill in Canada