testing new things….


looks like spinach and butternut squash- colorhue dyes

I’m testing out several new things today along with the regular production. I’m trying out a couple new ribbon widths
in a new fabric-crepe back satin-also bias cut. In addition, I’m testing out a new dyeset for some teaching I’ll be doing later
this year in Houston as well as a couple of other venues. The type of dyeing I do (immersion dyeing using the lanaset/sabraset dyes, discharging and overdyeing jacquard acid dyes ) requires equipment not always appropriate for some teaching situations.
Additionally, there are many people out there who would like to do some simple dyeing without having to get involved with all kinds of equipment and chemicals.

Last November at Quilt Festival I picked up a sampler set of these Colorhue dyes and tested them out dyeing a few pieces. Very simple to use, and quick. There are limitations to a dye like this since it strikes fast- meaning it’s not really practical for even solid shade dyeing on large pieces of fabric and yardage. ( It’s not really practical for production dyeing due to cost factors.) But it does seem pretty perfect for small batches, for textile artists and quilters who want to try out new techniques , for home dyers wanting a simple quick way to dye smaller amounts of fabric or fiber. In a teaching situation, the beauty of these dyes is that they don’t require heat or steam setting-they are pretty much instant-set dyes with very little washout. They can be intermixed much like watercolors.

The following is taken from the Silk Things website:

The ‘Colorhue’ dyes are primarily designed for use with silk. The Colorhue dyes do not require additional additives, heat applications or time setting procedures. They are water soluable and color fast. These dyes strike in just a few seconds, making dyeing tasks much easier and faster. Colorhue dyes can be used successfully for rayon , wool, linen,and the new soy and bamboo fibers. Dyeing any of these altenate fibers with COLORHUE will take some application variances.

The COLORHUE dyes are not recommended for cotton fibers.

So, I am experimenting with the Colorhue dyes and planning my shibori classes around these dyes in order to teach techniques
I otherwise wouldn’t be able to teach in some situations where there isn’t a full on dye studio. They are also great for working with kids since no harsh chemicals or heat applications are needed (Cherry Blossom Festival is coming up!). More to come as I experiment further. One thing to note is that most of my work involves steam setting for texture so my classes will primarily involve shibori techniques not necessitating steam setting.

On another note, F & S Fabrics in LA is adding to their shibori ribbon color selection and look for some Shiborigirl silk shibori yardage to be added in the near future. Silk shibori ribbon flowermaking classes may soon be offered there as well.

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2 thoughts on “testing new things….

  1. Glenn Hill

    Thank you for your posting of your experiences with these dyes!

    I am designing an installation of 26 hand painted silk banners, 3X5 & 1/2 feet in size, that will hang along a one mile stretch of streets, connecting a new Buddhist Temple with a Jewish one, in Ashland Oregon. The banners will represent the ancient Silk Road, between the Mediterranean sea and China.
    They will be painted with a map of the Ancient Silk Road routes, with images and quotes of ancient writing that has survived from the past. The ancient/modern names of cities will be painted on them as well.
    They will hang about 8 feet off the ground, on temporary poles set up for this installation. There will be painted sky running across the top part of all the banners, with the sun and moon both appearing, as they cross that part of the route on the globe. This will be for installation outdoors in the summer of 2010, for four months. And then I wish to try to have them be shown elsewhere, inside or out, at museums with Silk Road collections.
    I am wondering if these Colorhue instant set dyes will work for my project ??

    I am also wondering if a 8mm weight China silk will be good for banners of this size? Or is 5mm thick enough. I wish the results to be luminous and bright in colors.

    My thought is to hand paint the original set, and then to have two sets printed, and then show one of the printed sets outdoors. Do you know of a good way to print copies of paintings on silk, that will look like the originals ?

    Another question on the actual dyes,.. do they show light through the silk, with the colors nicely illuminated ?

    Any advice that you might wish to offer for such an ambitious project would be welcome! 🙂

    Thanks !
    Glenn Hill


  2. Katherine Munro

    Hi There,
    I just wanted to say that you will need at least an 8 mme silk if not heavier for this type of project. I would go with a 10 or 16 mme just to make sure it doesn’t rip and tear.
    I think the color hue dyes might work for you. I have only tried them on small things such as scarf clips and silk earrings because I can’t steam set those things. I am also about to try them on slightly larger pre-stretched silk hoops to see how they go. I tried them on a scarf and was not happy with how they struck so quickly onto the silk and were not “watercolory” enough for me. They leave streaks which may or may not be what you want.
    you can always go with Dharma Pigment Dyes. I tried those on a wedding dress not expecting too much but they turned out to be great! I would experiment with a bunch before starting that huge project. I would love to see it! Good luck!
    Katherine Munro



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