Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Variegated Dyeing--Tutorial

I've been asked a number of times how I dye the variegated thread. It's very simple! This has become my favorite thread to stitch with in either variegated or solids. It ends up with a smooth finish and nice sheen.

I use standard, mercerized cotton crochet thread.

I make hanks of about 20 wraps around my hand and elbow:


Then tie each end with a loose wire. If you make it too tight, you'll end up with white spots there:

Soak the thread in soda ash solution about 20 mins. Wring out extra liquid and it's ready to dye in Procion dyes. I first dip the middle third in one color. (Sorry no dye in the pot, but you can imagine it.)

Then I dip each of the ends in a different color. You can see the three colors on this ribbon I dyed using the same method:

As with any dyeing, I put the thread in a plastic container, let it sit overnight, then rinse out excess dye.

I've been dyeing old rayon seam binding (who uses that anymore?) using this same method. It looks almost as beautiful as silk ribbon and costs almost nothing at thrift stores!



14 comments:

arlee said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAHA!!!!!! WOW thank you for sharing that!!! Now that i have proper instructions from Deb about quantities and prepping, *your* tute will be used also!

...louciao... said...

Oh, that's brilliant! In every sense of the word.

deemallon said...

cool. thanks for the instruction.

Tory Brokenshire said...

Very clever, I love the ribbon and it does look like silk. Thanks for the how to.

Suzanne Reynolds said...

Thanks for the tutorial, Robin. The seam binding really does look like silk!

CarolCot said...

Thanks for posting how you have been dying your beautiful varigated thread. I really like it. If you don't mind me asking, where do you get your soda ash and what dilution do you use?
Carol C.

Jacky said...

Wow these look great...thanks for the tutorial, I will definately be playing with this method.
Beautiful ribbons and threads.

Jacky xox

Deb said...

Thanks for the reminder of how well rayon takes the dye with the same ingredients/process as cotton. I'll be dyeing this weekend and have a bunch of varying weights of cotton string to ready and toss in.

Paula McNamee said...

Thanks, Robin, for sharing how you dye your threads and ribbons- the colors are so rich.

cynthia said...

Oooh, thanks for that tutorial, Robin! Makes me want to run out to find some vintage seam binding and dye. That was a cheerful, and colorful post for the gray days.

Robin Olsen said...

I'm so glad you all enjoyed the tutorial. It was one of those things that I thought might be too obvious to post. It just shows that we take some things we do for granted.

Carol, I get almost all my dyeing supplies online through Dharma trading, but Art Media also carries some and I think they have soda ash.

lynne h said...

thank you for sharing this,robin!! xo

Curious Works said...

Thanks for inspiring tutorial...now I know what to do with all that ugly seam binding I've compulsively purchased over the years!

lynda howells said...

Oh wow....thank you for telling us how to do this...l am glad l asked now. You are so amazing at sharing your knowledge. I am often told that l am too free with my Art and craft techniques.... I disagree. I have learnt many things from many amazing artists and feel l should replay their generosity. I will have to try and find out where l can buy soda ash in Uk.xxlynda