Saturday, April 29, 2006

New Fiber

I just got my new fiber from Copper Moose Fibers on eBay. Ohhh it's so gorgeous. I bought it in white because I wanted to dye it for the Spindler's Dyeing for Spring Exchange but I had to just grab a handful and try it on my wheel. Thank goodness it came with so many bobbins! A blend of Alpaca, Merino and Tussah silk; it sheds SOOOOOOO badly but oh it's so soft and lovely. I hope I don't trash it! I also got some kid mohair blend in white for dyeing. I'm a tad intimidated by dyeing fiber. I've dyed yarn but somehow the fiber just seems so much more vulnerable and unwieldy! I'm going to do a bit more research on the net and then maybe next weekend bite the bullet. This is so much fun!


Dark Wraith said...

Good evening, Cherizac.

I couldn't help but comment on this post. Your mention of dyeing fabrics brings all kinds of troubling thoughts to my mind.

Although I can do some pretty decent clothes-making, dyeing just defies me. I have tried everything people have suggested over the years, and nothing creates a satisfactory fix of a dye job. All it takes is a couple of washings, and the original color (or, more likely, some weird blend of the original color and the dye color) starts to show up.

I prefer black in my clothes, and black is apparently the most fiendish of all.

Here are some of the suggestions that have proved less than enduring:

◊ ice water,
◊ boiling water,
◊ vinegar in the water,
◊ less water,
◊ more water,
◊ even acetone, for Heaven's sake.

And I've ruined some darned good fabric with some of the stunts I've tried. Thank goodness I usually go for the stuff on the discount table at Hancock Fabric; otherwise, I'd really be furious with myself for being so gullible about the sure-fire fiasco experiments.

Anyway, if you get that mohair blend to actually dye nicely, I do hope you'll share how you did it. I can't get even a simple grey cotton blend to stay jet black.

Anyway, I was just passing through and thought I'd visit for a while.

The Dark Wraith heads back out into the night.

Cherizac said...

Good Evening, Dark Wraith. It's lovely to hear from you again. You are quite an astounding assortment of talents, and never cease to surprise.

Regarding your dyeing attempts, what materials have you used to dye which fabric? Certain brands of dye will certainly fade on plant fibers versus animal fibers. One kind of dye for cotton, a different one for wool. Acid is often used to set dye but again, it depends on the dye used.

I will certainly continue to blog on my dyeing attempts, and post pictures when I can. Thank you for dropping by. Always a pleasure.

Dark Wraith said...

Good evening, Cherizac.

Actually, you make an excellent point about finding a dye that is appropriate to the fabric type. I never appreciated this until just recently: I had always just used those generic Rit packs, and that wasn't a good idea at all.

I've recently become interested in some of the dyeing chemistries used in earlier times. Having long been involved in Medieval history scholarship (and even having occasionally had the joy of teaching Old, Middle, and Early-Modern English language and literature), I am very curious about what were apparently some natural dyes that were very popular and quite successful. Some of them derived from indiginous plants; others were variations on technologies that go back to the Classical era, which was rather known for mastery of pigmenting. (No small aspect of scribalism was understanding colors and pigmentation methods for the inks in documents.)

That's a new interest of mine, and I am sure I need to start paying more attention to the particulars of the fabrics. Usually, the only notice I take with regard to the composition is how nice it looks and feels and then how often times fiendish it is to keep from coming apart at the edges as I'm trying to do something with it.

The Dark Wraith should probably stick with burlap and be done with the fancy stuff.

Cherizac said...

Experimentation and exploration; the mark of a curious mind. I can think of no greater compliment. As I'm under the weather at present, my dyeing will have to wait for the weekend, which will give me time to plan a method or two.

The Dark Wraith should continue to broaden his horizons and contribute his knowledge to a waiting world. Why else are we here on this orb?