Monday, 17 November 2008

My new dyeing training

I spent the past weekend taking the two-day Dyeing workshop at Handweaver's Studio in East London. It was great fun and I'll be posting some photos in the next update - they're uploading right now.

While you're waiting, I can show you what I'm working on right now. During the workshop I wanted to know how I could use my existing equipment to make the dyed rovings that I love so much (and spend so much money on!) One reason I'd like to make my own dyed rovings is because sometimes, after I spin and wash a pre-dyed roving that I buy, the colour washes out. It's incredibly frustrating, and I figure that if I dyed my own rovings then either they wouldn't wash out or I'd have no one to blame but myself!

So - I measured out about 100g of Bluefaced Leicester roving, and put it in a soak of water with a touch of Ecover washing detergent. While it soaked, I prepared three dye stocks from my Kool-aid stash. In each of three canning jars I put two packs of Koolaid (5g each), 10g of white vinegar, 250ml boiling water and 250ml cold water. I chose Lemon Lime, Orange, and Black Cherry for my colours.

Once this was done I laid a strip of cling-film (saran wrap) in the tub - I chose the tub because when I did this in the class I got dye all over the place!) I picked up the roving from the soak and let the extra water drain away, then laid it out on the cling-film. Using a 10ml syringe (without a needle!) I placed dye on the roving like this:

Then I rolled up the cling-film, from one long edge to the other. This sealed all the dye inside. Afterward I rolled it from end to end, and put it in a heatproof baking bag:

Then I placed this package inside the crock pot, which had a few inches of water in it, and semi-sealed the bag with a plastic tie (I want the heat to build up but I don't want anything exploding!). It'll be in the crockpot on high for a few hours, then I'll cool it overnight and take it out in the morning.

Fun times!

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