Tag Archives: dying

Hand Dyed Fabrics

I love hand dyed fabrics – the way they look, the textures, the variety of  tone and hue.  I love the mess and the result.  If you look at my earlier blog on dyeing you’ll see what I mean.

I have attended a workshop recently on Natural Dyeing.  It was really interesting to see what plants could be used, the different mordants and the various processes.  It is amazing that one plant can create so many different colours just by using different mordants.  A mordant is a product that helps the dye bond with the fabric.  Typical mordants would be alum, iron and copper.

Previously I have generally used Procion dyes – and have loved using them.  But, what do you think?  Would you prefer natural dyes, with their uniqueness and variety?  Or chemical dyes where you can more readily guarantee colour and light-fastness?  Please let me know!

Lovely colours for Patchwork

Last weekend I was able to give myself the excuse to do one of my favourite things – dying fabrics to create pieces of gorgeous colour.

I was preparing for the forthcoming class, where we will be making an Amish-inspired small quilt or wall hanging.  The Amish traditionally use plain fabrics that would have come originally from the remnants of their clothing – blacks, blues, dark reds etc.  Depending upon the specific Amish community, different colours would be used – some communities might use purples, others might use muted pinks or golds.  Some would not use much black – this is scope for a whole blog post of its own!

I realised I had no muted solids – fabrics that are of that plain, subdued range.  And I really didn’t want to buy any more – there’s barely space to move for fabric as it is!

So I got out some of my calico and after much consideration chose to dye using pure magenta, indigo and a mix of magenta and turquoise.

Look at the results.


You can see the three shades of magenta/turquoise at the top, the pure magenta over on the left, and the indigo in the bottom half.

They had been rinsed but not yet washed – when the colour would change, but hopefully not too much.

Working with turquoise is always tricky as it never takes as well as other dye colours.  I had originally remembered that and so put extra turquoise in the dye-bath.  Then panicked because it was VERY blue, so added a little more magenta.


5-RIMG0028After a good wash in the machine this is what we now have!  Actually the true colours are a little stronger than you can see here and although I have to admit to being a tad disappointed that they are not so much what I had in mind, they are very lovely shades!

The adventure with dying fabrics is always to be open to the possibilities and not to have expectations that are too fixed.