Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dye day (first of several)

In a moment of insanity back in June, I volunteered to dye t-shirts for the American Romeldale/CVM Association booth at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival later this month.

I had gotten the logo-printed shirts, ball caps and canvas totes a couple of months ago, but set them aside. However, with the deadline looming, and now that life had resumed a more normal attitude (see Polymath Chronicles), it was time.

I asked a friend if she wanted to come help, and Sue came this morning. I had already washed all the stuff, and set up the location for the dyeing. We were going to Ice dye them (see instructions here). I'd done a little of this one other time but this would be a larger scale project - 22 t-shirts, 6 ball caps and 4 tote bags.

After lunch (have to fortify yourself, you know!), we set to dyeing. I forgot to take pictures of the process, but we had soaked all of the shirts, etc. in soda ash water (the fixative for fiber reactive dyes) while eating. We pulled them out, squeezed them, and scrunched them up on the racks over the stock tanks (to catch the drips). Then we spread 60 lbs. of ice over the top of them, and sprinkled dye powder over them.

We ended up with a color spectrum from one end of the racks to the other - it was really cool. After the dye was applied, we covered it with plastic wrap, held down with rocks to keep the wind from removing it. I decided to invert my skirting table over top of the whole thing as additional insurance.

Since it's cooling down into the 40's at night, I'll leave it through the day tomorrow to set the dye. Then, I'll toss everything onto the skirting table and rinse with the hose until clear. Monday, I'll wash them and dry them, and they'll be done.

Then I can start on the dyeing I need to do for my own inventory! Should be fun - I have some new fiber to dye - it will be interesting to see how it turns out!

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