Monday, May 2, 2011

Color Morphing

While on my Felt Play Retreat with Pam MacGregor, she showed me how she pulls color from fiber. Trust me when I say I am not following her instructions well. I can however tell you what I did, and hopefully these photos will help explain as well.

First off, I'd made these fingerless mitts in lime green, then did an over dye with violet in a random wrapped form.

After that, I threw them into a dye pot of a raspberry colored dye and let them "cook" for about an hour.

Rinsed them thoroughly and then did a fan fold on them in a rather random fashion, then bound them into place with heavy string.


Prepared un-dye bath with RIT Color Remover, very hot solution, one full packet. (I actually could have used less but wanted to be sure that it was going to work. I think this is something that I "get better" as I move along in the process.)

Placed bound mitts into hot bath and stay close by. Color can come out very fast, so it must be closely monitored. Have tongs close by to pull out of the dye bath when the color agrees with you.

Rinse thoroughly, untie and see what you got.

If you like it, great. Maybe you'll want to tie it up in a different fashion and place it back into the un-dye bath. Maybe you'll want to re-dye and start over.

The questions have been asked about what kind of dyes I use, so I'll address that. I use whatever I can get my hands on, sometimes food coloring, along with Jacquard, Country Classics, Dharma, truly, whatever I find. I also mix them together without much concern for how it turns out. This is play...the fun is the adventure of what will happen. I have no specific goal in mind other than discovery.

I hope this is helpful. I also hope that if you have questions about how I do something that you'll feel free to ask it. I write this blog to inspire others to try it, and to hopefully show you enough of my flops and successes to encourage new felters to keep trying, keep pushing yourself. I've been making felt for 10 + years and make mistakes all the time. I've learned to turn them into "design elements" or I've released them to someone else who can see something I cannot. It's the journey that is joyous.

Enjoy your journey.

Did this help?



Ginny Huber said...

Lovely, Suzanne; I've been experimenting with dyeing and undyeing -very newly-and this is inspiring and also helpful; I have one question about what you mean by "random wrapping" before you overdyed the fingerless gloves with violet. Wrapped with what? Saran wrap, other plastic, something else? And when you say you are using the various dyes togther are you using Acid Dyes and Fiber reactive dyes together. ANyway, I am one who appreciates your writings, photos and musings here -it is good to be reminded it is play and so much is learn as you go!

Hooked On Felt said...

I wrap it much the way I wrapped it to un-dye it. It is very random, no planned pattern like the exquisite works Chad Alice Hagan does. Does that help?

Ginny Huber said...

Do you mean you wrap it with string then? I've seen photos of Chad's wonderful work and tools but don't know how she does it.Thanks much Suzanne!

Hooked On Felt said...

Yes Ginny, I just wrap it with string or rubber bands. Would love to see what you come up with. Will you share your efforts too?

Ginny Huber said...

Yes, I will share mine. I have so far just overdyed silk and cotton scrim, but without any wrapping or discharging, as I have discovered, it is called! I did discharge a whole cotton piece and then overdye it successfully. And I've tried, a strange experiemnt two sets of wool roving..enuf said about that. Anyway, not to clog up your whole blog here, I will go for patterns with resists on silk and cotton at least...and then see what happens. Haven't posted anything on my blog since Feb I will aim to soon show some of my dyeing experiments there! Thanks much, Suzanne!

WonderWhyGal said...

You do inspire and I thank you for the new ideas you have exposed me to.

I look forward to the next class I can take under your instruction.

Hooked On Felt said...

Andrea, we should get together, class or not. Love ya Gal!

Barbara Marr said...

Great instructions and pics, you are such a giving spirit and I so enjoy you.

Loco Lindy said...

"I have no specific goal in mind other than discovery"- LOVE that, it's how I approach dyeing as well and why I am not interested in giving classes! Love your work, and thanks for sharing the "undyeing."

Iona Loyola said...

Wow !!! LOved the idea!! I wished I could be closer to play coloring with you guys xoxo

Angela said...

Really interesting post I've never seen an un-dye process before.