Saturday, August 6, 2011

FaceBook…amazing artists sharing their expertise

There is a group on Face Book called Addicted to Tie Dying where tie dyers from all over the world share their expertise with newbies.

It is fascinating going through the photo album!

What color will the 'spider' be?

I have figured that one out finally! When you swirl a spiral, the side closest to the table is the better swirl. Dye applied to that side turns out to be the back ground. For the Spider, swirl down from the neck.

Here 'dark brown' was applied to the table side and maroon the other.

Production Work

Because I am not much on the production end of Tie Dyeing, I have spent the last 20 years teaching others. Last year was the first year I applied to sell at a craft fair. Our local Arts Center puts one on at Thanksgiving and takes care of collecting and paying the state sales tax. I was encouraged to apply and was surprised actually to be accepted. It is after all just 'tie dye.'

As luck would have it, I sold enough to make it worth my while. Instead of all new t-shirts I look for blanks to dye at thrift stores. I look for high end natural fiber items that have been donated. This serves both the ideas of reuse and supporting a variety of non profits. With the economy the way it is though more people are shopping at thrift stores and thrift stores are charging higher prices. I am finding that these days I can buy new cheaper than thrift. But I like the variety of styles so I keep looking.

I dye 12-15 items a week, spending about 3 hours on the tie-ing and dye-ing one day and 2-3 hours tending the washing machine the next. While my blanks are soaking in soda ash in the washer I choose my pallet of colors. I then choose the color combinations and how I will fold them, making a list so I can recreate a pattern or combination if I particularily like it. The dyeing then is routine because the thinking has already been done. Once the dye is applied they go into plastic bags and batch overnight.


This sun was created by drawing a 1/2 circle and pleating along the line (DIAMONDS OVALS SQUARES). Dye was applied in 'chaos' fashion (ELECTRIC BUNCHINg) to the gathered circle with two more bands tied finger width apart. Red, yellow, and orange dye were applied in 'chaos' with red and orange alternating front and back on the bands.

This is the back of the shirt dyed black. I like the lightening effect. I simply 'swirled' the body of the shirt bottom up.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Two versions of flower fold

This shirt was folded length wise (from collar to hem) in fourths, then folded into pleated triangles. Each corner was dyed a color.

This shirt was folded length wise, pleated into triangles. The one corner was dyed navy and the other two green.

Another Spider

This was a spider fold swirled down from the collar. One side dyed chartreuse, the other navy blue.

Silk continues

This was folded mandala style and rolled into a jelly roll and dyed two colors

This was folded into quarters, pleated from the center at an angle, rolled and dyed two colors.

This was folded into quarters, swirled from the center and dyed 4 colors.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spider Spiral

I have been trying to figure this one out for awhile. This is my most successful attempt to date.

The shirt was folded in half with only one layer. (I found the center at neck and hem by folding the shirt arm to arm and marked it, then shook out the shirt at the marks I had made.) The spider was swirled down from the neckline. Red dye was added on one side, blue the other. I used the LWI method, adding dye to a dry shirt and pouring soda ash solution on later.

LWI beside Traditional Tie Dye

On the left is a t-shirt done with Low Water Immersion (LWI) technique and on the right a t-shirt done traditionally. They are the same brand, both pre washed (scoured) and folded in a 'spider' spiral, twisting up toward the neckline; both dyed with the same blue and green dyes, blue on one side, green on the other.

The LWI shirt was dry when I squirted on the dye and I added the soda ash after about an hour.

The tradional shirt was pre soaked in soda ash, spiraled than dyed.

Both were batched overnight...the LWI in it's own bucket, covered and the other in a plastic bag. (The LWI may have been at a lower temperature.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Paula Burch

I cannnot get enough of Paula Burch! She is a chemist/dyer who has shared her knowledge and expertise with many a dyer. She patiently answers questions about dyeing that often seem to come from left field.

She has a Facebook page.

Plan on spending hours exploring her her multi layered website. While you are there check out the Dye Forum community.

If you can't find the answer don't know the queston! Her site and input were of great help to me when I was working on a 4 day curriculum for a summer program for kids at my local junior college.