Dyeing Up a Storm!

fabricshelfIt’s been cold and snowy here in Illinois but I’m safely tucked into my basement studio dyeing. This time of year is a good time to catch up on the 63 colorways of fabric I dye for Artfabrik. After its dyed, I have the thrill of ironing yards of fabric while watching bad TV. Happy to say that I’m almost done dyeing and the shelves are packed.

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Dyeing Marathon

threadsAt last my dyeing marathon ends! For the past 2 weeks I’ve been dyeing fabric and thread every day. And I mean every day.

dyeingforwebMy goal is to have every yard of fabric and skein of thread ready for class kits, the Artfabrik booth, and to stock the Artfabrik Store. Why dye it all now? Because soon I’m off traveling and most hotels don’t have dye facilities next to the fitness room. See you on the road!

Have You Tried Cheese Cloth for Texture?

cheesecloth1One of the fabrics I’ve dyeing lately for the IQF Chicago and AQS Paducah shows is cheesecloth. Yep. Cheesecloth, as in making jam cheesecloth. People often ask how to use it for art work so I’ve made up a short tutorial for you. You’ll love how it adds texture to another fabric. Here’s how:

1. Apply fusible web to one layer of the cheesecloth. I recommend Misty Fuse, a light weight fusible web that won’t clog up the gaps in the cheesecloth with glue as much as other fusible webs. Use parchment paper to transfer the glue to the fabric.

cheesecloth22. After the fabric cools, remove the parchment paper. Place the fabric back on the parchment paper and fold and squish the cheesecloth as much as you want.

cheesecloth3Apply parchment paper to the top of the fabric so it is in a sandwich of parchment paper. Fuse the folds in place using a hot iron.

cheesecloth4After it cools remove the papers from the cheesecloth. Then you can place the cheesecloth onto another fabric background.

cheesecloth5Or you can work directly on the fabric background instead of the parchment paper. Isn’t that texture terrific? We have lots of colors in stock. Give it a try!

Dyeing Buckets

dyeing9Ah, I live such a glamorous life! Here you see my buckets all lined up to catch the water exiting my washing machine. As I do the laundry, I collect the run-off water for rinsing my hand dyed threads.

threadwashoutThread rinsing must be done by hand. I know this because I once accidentally dropped a bundle of thread skeins into the washer and washed them. What a tangle mess that was! I’ll be lifting lots of heavy buckets to rinse the dyes from the threads in the next few days. But here’s the good news: it’s good exercise!