Sunday, June 17, 2007

gold and brown four yarder


gold and brown four yarder
Originally uploaded by tigerb.

Sadly I could just not get a good picture of this veil. When I try to warm up this photo to better duplicate its warmth, the picture gets out of whack. But the colors are really more... cheetah-like.

To get this interesting brown pattern on the gold silk, I folded the four yards of gold silk diagonally and accordion-pleated it. Then I applied dark brown dye with an eye-dropper to the edges of the pleats. I think it looks organic rather than geometric, which I like.

purple and plum blossom tie dyed hat


purple and plum blossom tie dyed hat
Originally uploaded by tigerb.

Hat number two.

fuschia & black tie dyed hat


fuschia & black tie dyed hat
Originally uploaded by tigerb.

Hat number one.

crazy shirt


crazy shirt
Originally uploaded by tigerb.

Suitably crazy tie-dyed shirt to go with the tie-dyed skirt.

crazy skirt


crazy skirt
Originally uploaded by tigerb.

This is the giant 24yd cotton gauze skirt, post-tie-dye adventure.

Monday, June 11, 2007

skirtzilla's little friend

I've dyed a peasant shirt to go with skirtzilla. This time instead of using 1/2t sodium alginate per cup of urea water, I used 1/2t with 1.5 cups of urea water. This was a better consistency.

You know, no matter what I'm dyeing, things sure smell goofy. If it's silk, everything smells like vinegar. If it's rayon or cotton, eau de alginate provides a fishy smell.

At least now I have learned that I don't need new soda ash solution every time I dye. Apparently the solution doesn't go bad, so whatever you wring out of your last white soaked object can be used on the next one. So I've got half a jugful for the next project... maybe those el cheapo shirts from JoAnn fabrics... I need more experience folding and tying.

Monday, June 4, 2007

24-yard skirt: Skirtzilla!

Yes, now I owe not only picture of the hats but also pictures of the gigantic 24-yard skirt I dyed this weekend. It was a tie-dye project with the skirt having horizontal bands of bright color: deep blue, plum, magenta, tangerine. It's utterly insane, and I'll post a picture RSN I promise. (I bought mine in white from Gypsy Magda).

Here are some important things I learned about dying a skirt so big:

1. While such a skirt may weigh 22 oz while dry, it weighs 22 lbs while wet.

2. Tying the skirt while damp was a great idea and did tame the froofiness. However, I shouldn't have tied it in the first place. Because there was so much skirt, I ended up with more white than I wanted (even carefully trying to work the dye through the layers). It would have been better for me to put down newspaper and plastic in the garage and spread the skirt waaaaaay out. But I still like the skirt I got.

3. Spinning the excess soda ash solution out in the washing machine was a genius idea suggested by a poster on Paula Burch's forum. I could never have wrung it out properly.

4. Is there a good book anywhere that talks about sodium alginate proportions for tie dye? I was so worried about my dye running into each other that I used too much. Then I had to dilute everything. It was like Laurel & Hardy Dye a Skirt. But I did find that a retired kitchen whisk really mixes sodium alginate in nicely. (Sodium alginate is kelp, by the way. Mmm, kelp.)

5. I underestimated the amount of dye liquid the skirt would be willing to suck up. I thought with 24 fluid ounces of dye I would be safe. I could have used more like 40 fluid ounces... but part of this was due to my over-enthusiastic hand with the sodium alginate, I am sure.


Cool project, cool skirt. Would I do it again? As a favor to a friend, yes, but I doubt I would make a business out of dyeing these... I don't have room to work on the giant things.