Come Back As A Flower

Come Back As A Flower
Mixed Media Self-Portrait (Sculpted clay mask, fabric & digital illustration)

Day 55: Using Fiber Reactive Dyes in a Home Studio

As a child I learned how to dye yardage of cotton fabric using indigo.  However, I learned to use other dyestuffs including fiber reactive dyes in the Textiles Dept. at ECU.  Large amounts of Pro-Chemical MX dye solutions were mixed each week and individual users activated them in smaller batches as needed.  In an academic studio environment this system is cost effective.  However, for me in my home studio it wasn’t, so I needed another method.

Supplies Ready 2 Use
My goal is to dye plant-based fabrics for quilts in one-yard batches.  So, I reversed the process by making a one-gallon stock solution activated with soda ash plus salt.  I add the powdered dye to either 2 or 3 cups of solution.  I’m experimenting with reworking my recipes from Christine Zoller’s Surface Design class, and I’m excited to see my results.  I started this journey today with two-gallons of stock solution, which I will batch for 24 hours.  I’m experimenting with new color combinations in search of Iroquois purple.  My samples today include bleached and unbleached muslin, unbleached linen and silk.  I included some samples of dyeing MX over acid dyed silk and indigo dyed cotton.  Results coming tomorrow!
My Set-Up

Batches From Today

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