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.
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