Monday, August 11, 2008

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

OK, that's an overly poetic intro to making a bunch of white fabric turn purple but I thought you might like to see how it all happens here in the Tie Dye Diva studio. I was asked recently to dye some fabric for a customer from white with blue and pink stripes to kind of a grayish purple. Normally I cringe at the request to dye-to-match, but I agreed to give it a go, you know, in the name of keeping mauve alive. So armed with yards and yards and yards of this fabric:



And a wee little swatch of silk in the color I was to match



I headed off into the Journey Toward Puce. First I tried some swatches, three of them, just by eyeballing the swatch. I tried purple + brown, purple + a true red mixed from fuschia and orange, and "mixing blue" + true red. Oddly, purple + brown and purple + red were really similar.




Mixing blue (a deep cobalt) and red were way off, I won't even post that one. I chose the purple + brown as the best match. After some fifth-grade math to figure out how to adjust my proportions for the weight of the yardage as compared with the little swatches, I was ready to go.

So ... pasted-up dye sludge



(later diluted and filtered, steps impossible to photograph without a third or possibly a fourth hand)

plus a large non-reactive vat (yup, Sterilite bin)



plus 6 cups of regular, though non-iodized, table salt



plus 6 gallons of water and my cauldron stirrer .. heh heh, my pretty!



plus fabric, fed in carefully so that it was scrunched rather than overlapping (I have seen some dyers recommend accordion folding fabric in a vat, personally I find this makes the layers stick together and dye unevenly. And yes that is my ugly orange size 10 Croc. Want to make something of it?)



plus 20 minutes soak time



(plus mixing and then adding soda ash solution, again, alas, I have forgotten my third hand today)

plus an hour more

= time to rinse out! Here it is hose-rinsed and already looking pretty good.



Now, waiting for the washer to do its job, hot hot water, along with some professional textile detergent to remove all the loose dye molecules



And a tumble in the dryer =



Success! We have arrived at Pucey Taupe. Or maybe Mauvey-Puce. In any event, it's a match!

4 comments:

dyeabolical said...

I am in awe of your color matching skills! Great job.
The first thing I thought of when reading the word puce was that scene from Monsters Inc when Sully is sorting through forms. :) I don't know why, but I always thought puce was an odd green shade - I stand corrected.

Tie Dye Diva said...

Thanks dyeabolical! Maybe the odd green shade you are thinking of is "puke"? ;)

Little Lovables said...

Wow, amazing jopb! I could never get a good match by just eyeing a swatch!

Haha, I thought of Monster's Inc too, Sully says "so that's puce?"

Carol said...

Very very interesting!! I love your blog!