Category Archives: DYES

How-to information and supplies for the home dyer.

Ikat Weaving: aa100397

What is Ikat? Ikat is a precision dye technique that can create elaborate patterns in woven cloth. In ikat weaving, the design is done by careful dyeing of the warp and weft. First a design is drawn and the warp and weft threads are carefully measured, tied and placed in the dye solution. For fabric of different colours, the ties are removed and the warp is retied and dyed again to create layers of colour.

Ikat
Ikat dyeing can be a very labourious process. Here are some other examples and photos of this method of creating patterns.
In India, sari fabric is woven of silk on frameless looms, taking as long as seven months to complete a sari. The ikat dye process is elaborate, taking up to a month to dye a warp.

The Khemara House in Cambodia trains women to run their own small business. Master weavers are passing on their traditional skills and teaching these women to spin and weave. In Cambodia, traditional dyes were used in the silk weaving. Yellow from the bror hut tree, red for an insect nest called Leak Khmer, black from ebony fruit and blue from indigo. Today chemical dyes are used instead.

In Indonesia both warp and weft Ikat have been developed to create complex textiles of ceremonial significance.

The International Ikat Weaving Forum 1999 brought together scholars and weavers internationally to exchange information about historical, cultural and artistic aspect of Ikat textiles. The impact of modernization on weaving culture is a concern. A revival in the use of natural dyes is being encouraged, training young weavers in the production of “eco-textiles”.

More about Ikat

Weft-faced Ikat

Natural Dyes
Natural Dye Books
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes
Natural Dyes
Botanical Colour at your Fingertips
A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers
Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles
Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

more Natural dye books..

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Weaving Tartans: aa090697

Throughout history Scottish Tartans have been used for showing kinship with a clan. Theclan system started in the 12th Century. Weavers developed their own colours and patterns for the tartans using natural dyestuffs found in their region.

The number of colours used identified rank, from 1 colour for servants to 7 colours for the Chief.

There are a number of on-line databases with information about tartans.
Tartans of Scotland
Electric Scotland
House of Tartan

Tartans are woven in a balanced twill using a striped warp arranged in the specific order of the clan. The colour order is repeated in the weft. The diagonal line of the twill is woven at 45 degrees in order weave a perfect square.

Tartans are generally woven of wool. Other fibers may be used as well if the warp and weft are of the same fiber, and following the specific order of the sett.

The famous Harris tweeds have their own unique scent. This is due to the type of lichen that the yarns are dyed with.

Crottle lichen (Parmelia omphalodes) is boiled with the wool in iron pots to create browns, yellows and golds. Because this lichen was associated with the earth, it was thought that when undertaking a long journey, socks should be dyed with crottle.

Cudbear (Ochrolechia tartarea) lichen gave crimson dyes. The lichen was sun-dried and crushed. It was then steeped in urine for about 3 weeks, before it was boiled in a dyebath. If soaked in ammonia, cudbear produces a bright pink or purple dye. Adding soda to a dyebath gives a red-purple colour and blue-purple with vinegar.

Rock tripe (Umbilicaria mammulata) produced mauve when the wool was treated with ammonia or urine.

Sea Ivory or Grey Beard lichen (Ramalina siliquosa) were used for orange/brown dye. It was also used for starch in making hair powders for wigs during the 18th century.

Natural Dyes

Lichen Dyes
Natural Dyes
Fungi and Natural Dyes

Tartan Books


Tartan (Textiles That Changed the World)
The sett and weaving of tartans
Tartans: Their Art and History

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Dyes – Kool-aid Colors : aa082097

Have your kids made Kool-aid and have you noticed that their mouth or hands turn an interesting shade of color? Well, Kool-aid can be used for more than just a summertime drink. Kool-Aid can be used to dye any animal fiber such as pure wool, dog hair, angora rabbit or mohair. It is relatively safe (as we drink it), easy to use and can be purchased at any grocery store.

koolaid

Dye Safety

Dyeing with Kool-Aid can be done in your kitchen, though this is not recommended. If you are using commercial dyes, do try to set up a separate dye space. Dyes are not safe to use around food preparation areas. During the summer, I do my dye projects outside. I use a 2 burner electric hotplate.

Do not use pots or cooking utensils that will be used in your kitchen. For small dye projects, I have purchased a set of stainless steel mixing bowls, though any small pots will do.

For this project, I wanted to see what types of colors would result using Kool-Aid (the unsweetened kind). Using about 2 ounces of 2 ply natural white wool, I wound off about 15 sample hanks. To wind a hank, holding the yarn in the palm of your hand, wrap it around your elbow and back up. Wrap it around approximately 10 times and tie the bundle off.

Before dyeing, the yarn must be clean and free of wool grease or other contaminants. Soak the samples in warm water with a bit of soap added. I use Dawn dishwashing liquid as I find that it does a fine job of cleaning wool. Rinse the wool thoroughly to remove any soap residue.


I used one package each of Lemonade (yellow), Kiwi-Lime (lime green), Pink Swimmingo (pink), and Grape (purple). Kool-Aid dyes can be set by using heat and acid. I put about 2 cups of warm water into each of 4 stainless steel mixing bowls and added about a teaspoon of vinegar along with the Kool-Aid. I heated the water to almost boiling.

I put one sample skein into each of the 4 pots and let them simmer. When a pot started to get too hot, I would remove it from the heat and put one of the other pots onto the burner. It took a few minutes for the yarn to begin to absorb the dye. Yarn colour is not influenced by the amount of water in a pot but by the amount of dye substance. The dye in the Lemonade pot was exhausted with just one sample skein. All that was left was clear water. So I continued on with the other 3 pots of dye.


I removed the first set of skeins from the pots and then placed all of the remaining skeins into the dye pots and let them simmer. After a few minutes I removed 2 skeins from each pot, squeezed out the excess water and placed them into the other 2 pots of dye. That is, I took 2 skeins from the Lemon-Lime pot and put them into the Grape and Pink Swimmingo. Similarly, I took 2 from the other pots and moved them as well. A few minutes later, I moved the samples from pot to pot again. Soon, the pink dye bath was exhausted, so I left the remaining samples in the Grape pot to simmer.

For this type of dye to be heat set, the yarn needs to be heated for about 20 minutes. I placed the samples into a steamer on top of the dye pot and let them steam. Then I rinsed the samples in soapy water and let dry.
Although Kool-aid dyes don’t give as strong colours as commercial dyes, the colours were still quite lovely and the faint odour of Kool-Aid still remains.

Koolaid Mittens
Linda found that Kool-aid dyes can be bright and colourful as she spun the wool on a drop spindle and Navajo-plied the yarn to keep the colours pure.

Dyes and Colour

Crock Pot Dyeing

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Gota 24 inch wide fold-able hand weaving loom imported from Sweden Free Shipping

$325.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-10-2019 18:01:18 PST
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Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

$100.00
End Date: Monday Dec-2-2019 4:30:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
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Vintage Little Loomhouse 4 Harness Weaving Loom & 4 Treadle Table Stand BIN

$245.00
End Date: Monday Dec-9-2019 17:36:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $245.00
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