Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Color Swatches Design Wall

I like to have swatches using formulas I've worked on using different dyeing techniques. A combination of pure dyes will look very different on a piece of fabric dyed using low water immersion vs. on fabric dyed a solid color using a tub dyeing method. 

I like to have solid dyed swatches available so I can decide what color to use for my batiks. I dye all of my batiks using a tub dye method. 

I decided to try using some 100 percent cotton 1.5" wide tape to dye solid color swatches. They work pretty well. I don't fuss over them as much as I would if it were a solid yard of cotton, so they are a little more splotchy than I would dye my fabric, but that's okay. I'm just trying to get an idea of the hue.  To make these tapes, I cut a piece of cotton tape and weighed it. To make it easier, I cut a piece so it weighed 5 grams. This makes dye calculations easier. I dyed the tapes a 4% depth of shade using a 5 percent dye stock solution. I used the same fiber to water ratio that I would when tub dyeing, so I can replicate these hues pretty well on cotton or hemp.

Just a note: this cotton tape had some kind of residue on it. So, I had to prewash them before dyeing. The tape is a natural color, not bleached.

To display them, I took a piece of white bristol paper and glued on a strip of velcro. I then attached little pieces of velcro on the ends of the cotton tapes. That way, I can rearrange them into palettes or families. I can imagine I will end up with many of these swatch posters around the house!

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