Friday, May 4, 2012

a small shop update

I know some of you don't use Facebook, so just a quick post to let you know I've added a few items to my store:

Tundra palette on mercerized cotton

Cool Miami palette on hemp/organic cotton and 100% hemp linen

Organic cotton/hemp blend fabric dyed in Arctic Bluegrass from Tundra Palette

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Painting Floss

 I'm trying out something new this week....hand dyeing embroidery floss to complement my palettes.  Here's my first shot -- my newest Tundra palette.  I used a thick print paste, but this would work equally well if you wanted to "tub dye" these in small containers. They work really well with the cotton/hemp fabrics I dyed earlier.

Just as with fabric, you'll need to test your floss to make sure it is colorfast. Wet the floss, place it between two layers of white cloth, and iron it on a cotton setting. Any trace of color means you need to soak the floss again. I know many fiber art and embroidery pieces aren't going to be washed, but I won't know in advance what a client will use this floss for, so it's always best to err on the safe side.

I'll be listing these flosses soon, as soon as I'm certain they are colorfast.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Playing with fabric values

Some days I feel like a mad chemist in my fabric studio. It's fun to run experiments where I change one variable while keeping all other conditions constant. One thing I like to play with is creating a palette in different values to see which value is most appealing and that I want to keep in stock. You may find you really like one combination in a light value, but not in a darker value or vice versa.  Remember, all you are changing is the proportion of dye to the weight of fabric. If you want to be able to repeat your experiment and get the same results, measure everything using metric measures. Weigh your dye powder, weigh your fabric, and weigh your water.

 First, let me show you one of the hues of the Tundra palette, Bluegrass. Here you can see it in a 1% depth of shade on both cotton/hemp and conventional cotton. Not much difference between the two. The patterning on the conventional cotton appears crisper. That's because the threadcount is much higher on the cotton, so the patterning appears more distinct.
On the right, here's Bluegrass again, also on cotton hemp, in a 1% value and a 4% value.

Your first reaction might be that these are two entirely different hues. They aren't.  The formula for both fabrics is identical.  But the fabric on the right appears much more green, because with the increase in value, it appears more dominant.

Both are lovely fabrics, just different. So next time you dye a batch and aren't happy with it, try it in a different value. You might get a  happy surprise!