Monday, January 23, 2006

Just Dyeing to Know

As many of my regular readers know, I have been leery of all-out dyeing. I'll use fabric paints, but I'm sooo jealous of the fabulous effects that dyeing creates. Also, given that I have a very limited workspace makes it a little daunting too. Combine those fears with my perception that it seems to take a lot of ingredients and materials to make it happen and well, as a result, I just haven't done it yet.

I like the concept of Procion MX, etc., but do I have to deal with the powders and urea and stuff? Do they come pre-mixed (I can hear all of the more hard-core dyers out there rolling on the floor with laughter)? I know, I know...so sad.

11 comments:

Deborah said...

I totally agree. Even the concept of needed a bunch of containers to hold all the dye is overwhelming to me. So I am no help on your questions, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone in feeling leery about dying. I think that's ok. I'm willing to buy fabric that someone else dyed!

Gerrie said...

Elle: check out Mrs. Mel's lazy dyer link. It is really a good tutorial.

sophie said...

An easy way to put your toe into the dye without making an investment in chemicals and supplies is to try one of Pro-Chemical's self-contained gradation kits. You'll dye a color wheel of 30 fat eigths using plastic cups and going through all the steps of basic dyeing.

Scrapmaker said...

Even easier than dyeing is painting. You can buy neat stuff online from Dharma Trading Co. already mixed (such as Dyna-flo, but there are others). No powders, easy to do, paint as small an amount of fabric. as you want. I have pictures of some painted fabric on my blog. I chose to paint eye-popper brights, but you could do anything you wanted.
Oh, and for REALLY gorgeous painted fabric, do some like Sonji (She uses acryllics). Jen

Scrapmaker said...

Ok I just realized that you said you are already painting fabric. In my opinion, you can get all the same effects with paint. You can use salt, plastic, twisting, rubber bands, stamps, whatever. Jen

Carol Logan Newbill said...

Like Jen said. I would also add that acylic paints (Setacolor and Dye-Na-Flow, as well as artists' acrylics) are nontoxic. The same cannot be said of dyes.

Long ago I made a choice, because I had kids and animals in and out of my studio all the time, to use only nontoxic materials. I buy luscious stuff done with Procions, but won't work or teach with it myself.

Then I heard that Caryl Fallert developed some pretty severe problems while working with Procion and Sabrecron dyes, which just reinforced my decision.

Elle said...

Thank you! That was one of my main considerations was the toxicity. I use Dye-na-Flow now and I think I might continue to do so as I'm getting a lot of the same effects and others can't tell the difference. I figure I'm not washing my pieces.

Karoda said...

Yes, I will not dye here at home...a couple of times a year I will go on an artistic retreat and the place I go, the use of a studio comes with the stay in addition to room and board. All my dye supplies stay in a large plastic tub so I never have to open it for anything else. The space here at home would not make me comfortable one bit for dyeing.

Lisa Call said...

I mix my dyes in old water bottles - I dye my fabric in plastic bins that cost $1 each or in plastic bins I bought at garage sales for either free or very cheap. My soda ash is stored in my sons old diaper pail from when I did cloth diapers years ago. I've invested very little money into my dye studio as it's all equipment that really doesn't need to be first class to do the job.

annabel said...

The colours of procion dyes are so vibrant and you can get some truly amazing effects, so go for it. You don't need all the stuff you've mentioned. I have lots of ways of doing dyeing on a smallish scale and will happily pass them on if you like. Email!

Rayna said...

You can get liquid procion dyes, Elle. I think they have to be steamed, though. But diluted paints can be terrific, too. I am teaching batik using paints for people who don't want to work with dyes and getting some beautiful results. Don't do what you don't feel happy about as far as your health. Buy somebody else's gorgeous dyed fabric and use your paints.