Monday, April 11, 2011

More vat results

Got some better results on Saturday with clamped resists. The first picture shows the fabric I started with. I tested it with deColourantStarting fabric - brown gradation and a decent turquoise color remained, which is the result of using Intense blue in the mix. There’s also a general blue halo that creeps out into the white areas of the original cloth.

P4100006The first piece I folded into an equilateral triangle and then dyed the corners and edges different colors. That went into the yellow vat first for a fairly long time. The other colors used were medium blue and violet. I spent the most time working the yellow into all the crevasses. That seems pretty evident from the fact that there’s fairly even amounts of yellow throughout. Also, that there are less even amounts of the other colors is evident, and is due to the fact that I didn’t spend as much time manipulating the cloth in the bath. The center still has the darkest area showing, like the original fabric did. The green/olive area in the center it the yellow dye overlaying (converging!) with the non-discharging blue.

The second one was fan-folded cross-wise and lengthwise into a P4100005rectangle. One edge went into the yellow vat. It was the second use, and did not remain as long, so there’s less yellow on the fabric. It also went into the medium blue and violet vats, then into a vat mixed from violet and red.  An interesting piece, and I did learn a bit from both.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

About vat dyeing

A couple questions came through regarding 'what is vat dyeing - the process, the effects to achieve? Vat dyes are a distinct class of dyes that are applied at fairly high heat, compared to MX, at least. Temperatures between 120 - 150 degrees F at any rate, with Thiox as a reducing agent (no oxygen in the bath) and lye to raise the pH very high. Because of the Thiox, color is removed at the same time that the vat dyes are applied. Because the thiox creeps farther than the dye does, you can get halos around the new color. And you can over dye a dark color with a lighter color, because the original MX (in my case) color is removed. Vat dyes also work on other types of dye than MX, but I'll have to check my notes to be sure. I do know other fiber-reactive dyes will discharge. But because of the extreme pH, you can't use vat dyes on wool. With TLC, you can use it on silk. Here's a close-up of a section of the gold and purple fabric showing some haloing where the darkest color creeps across the slightly lighter violet diamond:

The process is a little more hazardous than working with MX - more safety gear is required because of the lye. But the results are worth it, and once I practice, practice, practice, I hope I'll be able to get results like the photos in my March 26 post. Nothing like wanting to achieve the work of the master on day 3 of class! Elin has another class this summer at Whidby Island - go there if you can!!
I hope to continue with vat dyes, as well as MX and disperse and to keep adding pictures here and at, where I sell my fabric. Thanks for looking, and for the encouragement!

Wrong-color quilt

I was reading Kay Sorensen's blog post on color: and had to post these pictures:

Is this wrong? I still like it. Below is  a picture of it under construction converted to black and white. That really shows how important value is!
 Kay, I do know what you're talking about, but from both sides. When I sell Tsukineko ink in the booth at shows, I always arrange them from neutrals to - browns - orange - yellow - green - blue - purple - red. Hubby is bothered that this is NOT Roy - Gee - Biv, the way he learned in science class.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Vat results

Well, I have gotten some work done with vat dyes since I got back from class. Here are pictures of the results, from worst to best. A couple were started in class and at the least were soaped out here at home.

First attempt to improve a yard
This fabric was pretty poor to begin with. It needs more work. In person it’s very bright and cheerful.

Interesting half yard improved by vat

This was a reject from Barbara of MXDyers. I like it better, except the right end. A class experiment.

A charcoal square with vat dye

A 42 x 45 square of broadcloth dyed charcoal (my own recipe.) Not the results I had hoped for, but a nice piece as it is.

A shibori fat quarter

A boring, solid green fat quarter improved by hand stitching and a medium blue vat dye.

Voile with vat dyesCotton-silk voile – you can see through it to an 8 1/2” x 11” piece of paper in the upper left corner.

Radiance, pleated and vat dyed
A yard of black Radiance, run through a smocking pleater and discharged and dyed in multiple vats.

Four broadcloth squares folded and dyedFour 21” squares of broadcloth. Each was folded the same way and dyed in several vats in the same sequence. Each one is different, and I’m quite pleased with them! The set is for sale here.
Thanks Elin!