Monday, May 20, 2013


I spent Friday evening in the laundry, not doing laundry, just making lots of jars of scientific experiments.   The jars in the last post have now been rinsed and better rinsed and are now dried, pressed and ready to be used (although I think I will just look at them for a little while). 

Here are some of the little jewels:
Some of the fabric that had the left over dye mixes tipped on directly whilst  sitting in the jars has produced some lovely pieces that could well make subtle backgrounds for applique.   
These ones that have lots of greens and pinks are very pretty.   Some are a little pale but that was because the dyes used had been diluted a number of times before being used.  
This blue and green one is very pretty also.
You can see with many of the pieces that the way the fabric is folded, contributes greatly to the final design that appears at the end of the dye bath.  There is a lot of undyed fabric here.   I think the reasons for this include my twisting the fabric too much, making it difficult for the dye to penetrate the folds.  This one in real life has the look of a flower.   It may end up as an appliqued flower on some other fabric.   
This one looks like sunbeams!

Even though most of these look like tie dyed fabrics, they have all been achieved purely by pinching, twisting, folding or scrunching.
To achieve the circle patterns within a piece of fabric, simply pick the fabric up from the centre and twist on itself, then shove in to the jar, already loaded with dye and salt.  
 The yellow sun rays where done by folding the fabric, concertina like, followed by a  twist and stuff action. 
Dyeing in a Jar is a great technique.   You get lots of interesting designs.   Listed below are things to consider when using jars for dyeing.....
Jars best suited for this project are those with wide necks.    Fat quarters will fit into most medium type jars.     WHY do wide neck jars work best.......because if the neck of the jar is smaller than the base, then you can create your own personal volcano effect.........I know, I did it a couple of fold or scrunch the fabric and then try to stuff it in the jar.   It doesn't go in, so you use a little force.   It still doesn't go in, so you use more force......the next thing you know, the fabric has gone in to the jar at full throttle and you are now looking at the volcano effect - the walls have dye on them, the dryer and window have spots, your hands are covered and if you are really lucky, you will have some on your face to boot!!  It takes a day or two to get it off your skin.   Keep that in mind if you are planning on going out that evening.
Put the lids on the jars so they can be turned.   Make sure the lids are watertight.   Some may be tight enough to allow you to tip the jars - this will at least help spread the dye a bit more.   A helpful sole in my home decided I could keep the jars in the shed but for some reason threw the lids out.   I poked my fabric with a skewer. 
Wear gloves.    Try and keep gloves on.    The minute you take gloves off,  Murphy's Law states that you will encounter  either one of the following, a tripping hazard whilst moving jars to their curing position or the volcano effect will take place.    
Wear an Apron and old clothes.   See above.    
Move the whites that are waiting to be washed.    See above.
I think I twisted some of my fabrics a little too well, you want the dye to be able to penetrate all the way through.
Find something to do whilst the dye weaves its magic. 

 I have dyed 26 metres of fabric - you can call me Eddy - Eddy the Expert!!

Sue xxx


  1. Ahhhh...some beautiful pieces indeed! I will have to try my hand at dyeing fabric sometime. I love the colors and the happy surprises that come out of the dye baths.

  2. Have your skin taken on the multi-coloured hues as well? Lovely results - looking forward to seeing something made from them.......


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