I think you guys might remember me mentioning to you that I was taking a Fabric Dyeing workshop at Mass Art this past weekend. Three days of dipping and rinsing and drying and adoring... If you follow me on Instagram, you were sure to have seen my updates on things I was doing and playing around with. I hope the impression you got from those pictures and this post is that fabric dyeing is my new frontier. I found the whole experience to not just be a learning one but also to be a splendidly fun one, if not a little tiring haha.
Because I was oddly early for each class and the other students in the class were varying degrees of late, I got to spend some quality time with our instructor Susan. We chatted about her 15+ years of experience, about what I was hoping to gain out of the class and our mutual ability to collect crafting supplies, even if we didn't need them (most crafty ladies can relate). Susan had set out plenty of examples of dyeing work she had completed in the past (top left picture above) which immediately got my creative juices flowing.
We went through tons of different dyeing techniques and also had plenty of time to take those creative juices and go in our own direction. After going through all the techniques and sort of creating a lot of different samples, some skillfully crafted and others thrown together, I decided I wanted to do something earthy. In some of our quality time, Susan and I talked about using gradation dying (basically making 12 colors out of 3 by mixing different ratios) with chocolate brown replacing the red in our previous combination (red, blue and yellow, see gradation at the very top right). I wanted to get some earthy, natural looking colors that I could possibly use in future projects that also didn't scream "tie dye". None of the other students shared my enthusiasm for the chocolate brown scene until all my hard work paid off into some really awesome explosions of earthy color.
I really was exhausted from a weekend of running back and forth to this workshop but what I learned was undeniably worth it. This is one of the tools that any designer hopeful can use to make truly one of a kind garments, with the simplest of steps. Practice definitely makes perfect with the mixing of the dye recipes but I have a utility sink in the new house that is begging for some action!