Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dyeing Books

Dyeing to Knit by Elaine Eskesen. The book is fairly well-put together and features some very nice pictures. I can't honestly say that I read the book from cover to cover, let alone the majority of it. I only read parts that caught my eye, such as the section on overdyeing and experimental dyeing on pages 46-47. The "Design Phase" section of the book is also very inspiring. She talks about taking colors from art and nature into your handpainted yarns. This is illustrated by a snapshot of a garden and a swatch of yarn she painted based on the colorways of the snapshot (p. 67)

The Fabric & Yarn Dyer's Handbook by Tracy Kendall. I love this book -- it is well organized and has fantasitic inspirational photos. I wouldn't say that it's wholly comprehensive, but the book covers a little of everything to do with dyeing. The first part of the book discusses different techniques for dyeing fabric and yarn, stenciling, marbeling, monoprinting, color stripping, wax printing, etc. The latter part of the book features various dye and painting recipes for yarn and fabric, including some natural dye methods. Although I know I'm not going to be dyeing most of the things in the book, I just love the photos of the projects she featured. The recipe section also has color coded tabs indicating which fibers would be appropriate for the recipe, and there are also key symbols for each recipe indicating processing time, precautions for the different levels toxicity for all the various dye methods, how the fabric is processed (i.e. heat, steam). I have seen this at many Half Price Books stores before. I think I bought mine off of

Dye Powders. Wovengold - to answer your question: Yes, I have used ProChem's WashFast Acid dyes. They work wonderfully and give you nice rich colors.

I use the Jacquard dyes as well. I can't say which one I prefer. I've never done a side by side comparison of the WashFast and Jacquard dyes before. I use them both and I do mix them with one another. I mainly use and purchase primary and/or CYMK colors and then mix them to get the color I want. (Well.. except I got tired of mixing for brown, so I broke down and bought an 8oz jar of ProChem's brown.)

If you are interested in trying WashFast dyes, ProChem does offer a variety of starter kits (scroll down) in many color combinations. After we decided to move beyond KoolAid, Zona and I took a dye class where we were introduced to the WashFast dyes via a starter kit. If your LYS doesn't sell WashFast, you can order directly from the company through their website. I order my Jacquard Acid dyes and my fiber reactive dyes from Dharma Trading.

Instruction Sheets
From Dharma on Acid dyeing: here
From Dharma on vat dyeing with Reactive dyes: here
From ProChem on handpainting with Acid dyes: here
From ProChem on 2 color gradation Reactive dyeing: here
ProChem's instruction index page: here


wovengold said...

Thanks! I was considering ordering the little kit she put together and listed at the back of the book, but will shop around.

I, too, really enjoyed her approach to color and design. It reminded me how little time I allow myself (a working artist, no less) to just walk around and look deeply and what is here. Very inspirational.

Thanks for the links!

white oak studio said...

awesome info!! I hope to dye some wool/linen blend yarn soon and will use the instructions and will try fiber reactive dyes to see how they work with this unusual yarn blend. Jana