Tuesday, April 07, 2015

What do you think dyers can do better? Part 1

A week ago I posted the following question on the QuiltArt List: What can dyers do better? Specifically, what can I do, or do better for you? Here's the first answer I received:
   I did a lot of dyeing earlier in my quilting life, and then I decided that buying interesting pieces from other dyers was a much better decision for me. The dyeing process was hard on my body, time-consuming, and I didn't enjoy the process. So, I moved to dyeing fabrics with my credit card.
   After about a decade of doing that, I became more and more dissatisfied with the dyed fabrics I bought. Why? Because they were almost never rinsed and set adequately, forcing me to do all those end steps to make them washable. . . . I even commented on this trend of dyers not rinsing and setting the colors adequately on this very list. What I got back in responses was an ***outpouring*** from dyers who complained that they didn't have the time to do that or they didn't have the water resources to do that or they'd have to charge more money if they did that or __________ (fill in the blank with whatever reason that exonerated them from doing the final steps).
   It was at that point that I gave up and have refused to buy hand-dyed fabrics from anyone. What have I done, instead? I joined the Modern Quilt Movement and now have a collection of commercially dyed cottons that I use in abundance to go with commercial prints. 
- Delores, still unhappy about all of this, but at least I've found a way to continue to enjoy quilting.
My standard answer to the 'will it bleed' question is that no, it shouldn't. That said, I'm not perfect, so it's possible I'll miss something. And my fabrics take a beating travelling to shows, so I encourage washing them. (I always think they smell different when I get home, probably because I use hand sanitizer in the booth. I need an unscented, fabric-friendly version.)
So, what do  you think? And look for more replies here in the coming days.
Thanks for looking, and thanks to Delores for her answer - Lisa