Thursday, February 09, 2012

Studio Tour Day 7: Back to the Dye Room

A dyers work is never done! We're returning to the dye room today to wash out our fabrics dyed in the Day 3 studio tour. These are Procion MX fiber reactive dyes so they need some time to react with the cotton fabric. Typically I let them set overnight and wash them out the next day.
One of the most important appliances I own is my washing machine. We use it for the family laundry (yikes!) but also for washing out the hand dyed fabrics. Pulling the dripping fabrics out of the plastic containers, the fabric is dropped into the washer as it fills. The fabrics are washed in cold, warm,and finally hot cycles. (I have very hot water at my house.) The washer has to be monitored at all times. (Never leave your fabric wet in the washer or the colors may back dye on themselves and stain the fabric.)
If I'm dyeing thread, it has to be washed by hand. Here's a pyramid of buckets stacked with skeins of dyed thread. Usually I'm using the water running out of the washing machine to fill the buckets. Lifting buckets of water keeps my arms and shoulders in weight lifter mode.
Me in an unusually neat studio. I can't imagine how that happened!
I hope you've enjoyed a tour of my studio this past week. It's been home to my creativity for so long, I forget to notice how it looks. And I hope you have a space to create in as well. We all need a place to call our own.


Graciela said...

Hi Laura!!! beatiful colors!!!


Ha sido un gran paseo por su lugar de resultó muy agradable y colorido.

Marilyn said...

So ... You're tied to your washing machine .. very interesting. lol

Janelle said...

I'm always nervous about washing drastically different colors together, so I usually do small loads of similar colors. I don't dye very much fabric at a time though, so it isn't usually a problem. I would have to rethink my methods if I did a lot at a time.

Jackie B said...

Please What were the "trays" you were dying your fabric on? I couldn't place them. Thanks

sanann said...

I enjoyed the studio tour very much. Love the storage bins and they gave me some more ideas for my areas. Sandi

Sewconsult said...

I loved seeing your studio. I can't imagine having so many buckets or other containers of dyeing water. I am such a clutz that the place would be a disaster waiting to happen.
When I was a child, we had a Golden Book, "The Kittens' World of Color" or something like that. The kittens spilled their paints and the colors ran together to make secondary colors from the primary ones. Of course the book didn't use those terms, but that's the lesson. I loved that book and think that it had something to do with my early love of colors.
Beckie in Brentwood, TN

JessicaSews said...

It's been a lot of fun to see pictures of your studio and work area(s).

Deb said...

What a nice, colorful, and inspiratonal studio. It's fun to see how quilt artists work. Thanks for sharing.

Madalene Axford Murphy said...

I like that idea of using the washing machine water to rinse the thread. Since dyeing uses a lot of water, it is nice to be able to use some of it twice. And thanks for the tour of your work spaces!

Helen Howes said...

I have dyed a lot of thread over the years.. I wash out in the machine in those little mesh bags that you can buy to put babies' socks in..
Love the colours..
And trays - I use cat litter trays or cheap washing-up bowls from the pound shop (dollar store to you)

Helen Howes

susan said...

I've really enjoyed your tour! Its fun to see how you operate! You were smart to take a picture of yourself with a clean studio -- its proof that it can be done!
Enjoy your blog!