A sad experiment
I had a lovely piece of fringed silk and rayon that I thought would look too busy if I used my regular serti process, so I decided to try something new (to me). Wonderful textile artists on Etsy, my friend Marcia, and now my new book by Holly Brackmann have been telling me that I really don’t need to steam fiber reactive dyes. I made a solution of nine tablespoons soda ash mixed in hot water, soaked my silk in it for about 15 minutes, and let it drip dry. I stretched the piece and started in on my color. I used some mixes made of older chemical water, but figured the soda ash would override the age of the premixed dyes. Bad guess.
I thought it would be fun to work with the existing pattern and have some mysterious faces peeking through the flora, so I blocked some areas out in a pale brown mixed with coral and water. I thought this would be a good time to use the good true black sample of French dye Marcia had given me and was really pleased with the way it made the facial features pop. I let it sit 24 hours, then figured I’d better get the soda ash out.
I knew there’d be color going down the sink, but I never thought I’d lose all my detail. The view on the left is the “before” view. The photo on the right is the same area of the scarf “after.” Sigh. If you look really closely, you can barely make out the eye and mouth. The chartreuse and aqua washed out, too, but I really like the watery look. Or, at least, I’m telling myself I like the watery effect instead of the forest-y look of the original.
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