Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eco Printing

Last week before we headed off to the Southwest Spinners Retreat, my cohort in crime - Betty and I did some dyeing with leaves from our yards, iron pipe and coffee grounds. We used silk and cotton muslin to make our bundles a la India Fint in her wonderful books, Ecocolor and Second Skin. See India's blog link in the blogs listed on the right. Everything she does is an inspiration. This time Betty and I mordanted our cloth with soy milk instead of alum and cream of tarter. Glenna Dean in the Turkey Red Journal also recommends this mordant to keep indigo from crocking (that is another story). So far soy milk is my mordant of choice although it does not keep well after the first day's use. I found that overnight it spoiled and tended  to separate in the bucket. However, since nothing toxic was added to it I put it in with the rest of the compost and recycled it. We steamed our bundles for about an hour and then left them for a couple of days. When we met up for the retreat in the mtns, we unrolled them and had a good look.
 The eucalyptus gave the nice orange color on silk and the black is from the iron pipe.
 Fig leaves and indigo fresh from the yard gave much lighter impressions and the idigo was only blue when there was no iron near it.

The wonderful Betty who is like a guardian angel to me. She and her husband Gary helped me load and unload, set up for class and kept an eye on my table when I needed to get away. They even followed me home to make sure my truck made it up the last hill. Thank you Betty and Gary. 

The retreat was a great experience. Lots of wonderful spinners and people who wanted to learn to spin. It was such a treat to get out of the heat and see green trees. It even rained on Friday up in the Sacramento mtns. We were at the Methodist Assembly Camp in Sacramento NM. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ice Dyeing

One day last week those nice people over at Dharma Trading where I buy my dyes send me an email with a link in it to Ice Dyeing. It seemed like such a fun idea that I decided to give it a try. You need an item to dye that uses Fiber Reactive Dyes, like cotton or rayon and some soda ash as well as some powdered dye. All are available from Dharma on their website. I did this in my sink in the dye kitchen because it could sit overnight without being disturbed. You can also use a tub or bucket - something to hold the ice as it melts.

New sink in the dye kitchen where this process takes place. Soak the item in soda ash and warm water for half an hour before you begin.
Spread the item to be dyed out in the bottom of the sink . What you can't see in this picture is the rack (a cookie rack - for cooling cookies) underneath. That keeps the fabric just above the melted dyes.

Put ice on top of the cloth - completely cover it in ice. 

 Sprinkle dry dye powder directly on the ice. I started with terra cotta and then bronze and then imperial purple. These are all Dharma Brand Fiber Reactive Dyes.
 It looks like this when the ice starts to melt.
 This is after the ice has melted. It is hard not to want to mess with it and pick it up to see what its doing underneath. Wait 24 hours and then wash it. Mine is a peasant blouse in rayon that looks like this after being washed in synthrapol and hung to dry. It makes the boho-hippie chick in my heart happy....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Studio Update

 One must have a place to sit occasionally in a studio. In my perfect scenario it would be create/nap create/nap ad infinitium. This napping place is often used by Frisbee who is very creative in her demands for snacks all day.
Here you can see the other trees that I've put on the wall behind the loom. I actually have something on the loom I will show you soon. There will be a show in September at the Gallery where I will show new handwovens. All very exciting. These pieces are made from cotton/rayon that is all hand dyed.