Sunday, October 07, 2012
Deep, dark dye
Now I am going to tell you something shocking. I over dyed these pieces and the ones I did the other day with Rit dye. Regular old Rit from the grocery store. Yes, I know. This is not cool. All first class fabric artists use only Procion MX dyes. If I were dyeing yards and yards or going for deep and brilliant colors that is what I would use. But I am dyeing little pieces and just changing the colors to get some variety and value selection. Procion dyes are a huge hassle, requiring face mask and soda ash and dye powder getting all over the place and a big wet area. I know of what I speak. Years ago I made batiks, using only Procion dyes. I am over that. No more big old buckets of dye for me. Rit is easy. And it works pretty well. I use the liquid, so there is no toxic powder in the air.
I dyed what I did the other day in the laundry sink in the studio, but I knew to get deeper color with Rit I needed to get it hotter. I went out to the Thrift store today and bought a great little stainless steel pot and cooked up my dye bath in it. I heated the water, added the dye, salt and fabric and stirred while it simmered for about 10 minutes. Worked great.
BTW, I have never believed that Rit is not as colorfast as better dyes. My mom was the queen of Rit dye. She dyed our bedspreads and curtains and socks and even towels when they got a little sad looking and brightened them right up. The color lasted as long as the stuff did. She dyed a white dress shirt of my Dad's hot pink for some kind of costume party getup. I wore the oversized hot pink shirt with my jeans for years after.