Monday, March 21, 2011

unexpected dye pot surprise

My technique of over-dyeing my scarves can sometimes lead to some surprising and beautiful results. I over-dye each of my scarves after it is woven to colour only the white raw silk with acid dye (meant for protein fibres), leaving the cotton colours untouched (cellulose fibres). But, every now and then, one of my cotton colours, pre-dyed at the factory, takes on the dye pot colour in a strange and interesting way. My guess is this is because the cone of cotton was exposed to a sizing or starch that made the fibres more vulnerable to acid dye. Whatever makes the cotton more receptive to the acid dye, it often occurs in intervals on the string, resulting in patterns that are very reminiscent of ikat dyeing techniques. Sometimes a new cone of a particular colour of cotton is completely receptive to the acid dye, resulting in an overall shading of the weft cotton.

For the scarf you see here, I used a peachy coloured cotton for the weft, some of it from a new cone, and some of it from an older cone - all the same colour before the scarf met the dye pot. Once dyed, a really interesting zig zag pattern appeared, as well as whole block of weft that turned an almost solid dark grey.

1 comment:

  1. That is amazing! It makes me wonder so much about the factory process too.