Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Colour and more colour

I found a braid of fibre, 80% Bluefaced Leicester /20% nylon and spun it up.  There was only about 100 g of it.  I was going to do a 3 ply yarn but decided that I really didn't like the colours enough to spend that much time spinning it.  It's a nice yarn, just not my favourite colours.   I am considering passing it on to a friend since really, I can't think of particular project I would use this for, except maybe a scarf.  Really though, what kind of wear and tear would a scarf go through to need that percentage of nylon for durability?

There has been a lot of colour lately; dye pots full of rainbows! Fibre Reactive rainbows.  I love the colours that fibre reactive dye produces.  It is bright and cheery, with intense, clear colours.    Once the dye powder is hydrated, the resulting solution isn't supposed to last but a few days as the dye bonds not only with the fibre but with the water as well.   Besides the brilliant colours, the bonuses of Fibre Reactive dyes are that it will dye both protein and cellulose fibres, depending on which process you use and it is a 
wool
relatively safe dye.
But these colours are amazing!   I love having such a wide range of colour possibilities for whatever project I have in mind.   Natural dyes give one range of colours, acid dyes another and fibre reactive dyes yet another set of shades.

A few days after I dyed the above colours, which are wool yarns.   I did a bit of an impromptu dyeing session.   I took the dyes that had been mixed for dyeing protein fibres at 2% solution and added a urea solution to diluted the dyes to 1%.   Then I fished out a remnant of white flax tow and some generic
tow flax

acala cotton roving and did a bit of an experiment to see if I could dye with the leftovers.   Pretty colours resulted from the effort.    The pink cotton is a bit uneven.   I pre-soaked the fibre for almost 2 hours but still it didn't totally open  the fibre.   If I could have scoured the fibre first, I think it would have been more even, but boiling the roving wasn't even a consideration that morning.  I could have also tried adding a few drops of soap to the soak water.



Acala cotton roving
  However, in the end, my first  mix of dye was much to purple than what I was after, so I just added more red until I got a colour that I was happy with.   I did all the math to begin with.  I had all my amounts carefully measured and tossed it out the window to get a colour I liked.   In this case, it bumped the DOS (depth of shade) darker than I wanted, so having a bit of white mixed it will make it heathery and lighter coloured, which is what I wanted in the first place.   


1 comment:

Bettina said...

I haven't dyed anything in a while - too many other things to do:( but the turquoise flax is lovely - that is a colour, which wouldn't be possible on flax with natural dyes (or acids, come to that)! unfortunately there isn't much dyed cotton for spinning available here, and dyeing the lovely tops means that they fall apart:( I usually spin first, dye later - but the effects are not quite the same the other way round!
have fun working with all those colours!

Bettina (from ireland, where we could do with a bit of colour!)