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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Silk dying experiments

I have been experimenting with dying silk scarf blanks in the microwave.
This large square scarf started the colour of the tee at the top of the picture, which was part of the bulk lot dyeds with Dylon machine dye. The pink wasn't a very flatteringshade for me, so I wanted to add some warmth. I added yellow, red-orange, red and a little bit of brown, and I do like the new overall sunset colour, though the smattering bits of brown have not worked as well as I had hoped.
This large rectangular scarf was also the same pink colour originally. Here I mixed up a burgundy shade and also added some yellow highlights which show up as orange. I am not sure this has changed colour quite enough for my liking, so this might get some more overdying to warm it up properly.
This scarf started out as a classic white blank long scarf, but not as large as the previous one. I scrunched this up on a plastic sheet on the draining board and dripped the dye on with a pipette. The dye then made sort of flower patterns as it went through the wet silk. I like the effect, but it is quite a strong colour combination, and I am not sure if this will appeal to the intended gift recipient. The colours are too cool for me.... so not sure what will happen with this one.
Another plain white silk blank, this time I tried to keep the silk a lot wetter. I've used three shade of turquoise, teal and blue and got them to blend together more than in the one before. This is very pretty up close, but the delicate effects don't show much a little further away!
This is a piece of silk, so will need hemming somehow (may need to buy some silk thread). I've used the same colours as in the scarf above, but diluted them first with water to give a paler shade. This is even softer, so not sure if the effect is too subtle and therefore boring.

I am definitely hooked now, and will be trying to take what I have learned and be able to make scarves that come out as I want them to in future!


L said...

Wow Ruthie. I really, REALLY, like the second scarf. Even though it's pretty bright, it would be the statement piece in a solid-color outfit. The other scarves are very pretty as well. Thanks for sharing.

Linda T said...

All this looks like fun - plus you came out with some beautiful pieces!

Jenni said...

What a fabulous result. They are all lovely and it was obviously loads of fun.

Pearl Blay said...

I didn't know you could dye using the microwave! Learned something new today!

SewRuthie said...

Hi Pearl, you need to use the steam fix silk paints, but yes absolutely!

Anonymous said...

That looks like a lot of fun. I will be looking into it now. Thanks for sharing!

Jane M said...

You're quite adventurous with dying fabric. I've avoided it but I am loving that first color combination. I think I might try some overdying this year to see if I can warm up some of my cooler colored fabrics and add some lovely textures like you did here.

SewRuthie said...

Jane M, just be careful of your fibre contents. Cotton dyes really well, poly cotton only partially but can be a nice marled look. Silk and linen seem to work quite well. Polyester doesn't dye with either of these, though you can use specialist dyes with stronger chemicals. That doesn't appeal to me so I've not done that. And of course it adds the colour onto whatever is already underneath, so any prints remain and sometimes the colours go a bit wierd - ie a purple flower turns brown. Also stains and bleach spots don't really dye either, or dye more lightly, so best for yardage or lightly worn garments.
I've also done towels and bedding.

Patricia said...

I like your dying as well. Great job!
The first blue one looks very intense so even if the variation is subtle at a distance it will still look strong and rich. I personally prefer mine to be subtle.

Molly Tregellis said...

Wow! These dyed silk scarves have really inspired me :) especially for my artwork at school; I could definitely use this in the future. Thanks Ruthie :) xx