Sunday, August 20, 2006

My Colorful Weekend

At least once every summer I like to spend the weekend outdoors, dyeing and painting silk fabrics. Much of this weekend was spent doing that very thing. Many of you know that I have a business selling vintage kimono silks. I have quite a collection of kimono and obi - many are in very nice condition and those will remain intact. Most of them though are damaged and those are the ones that I take apart, sorting them into good condition, those that I will sell as is, and damaged. The portions that are damaged, as well as the plain silk linings, are what I dye and overdye - I just LOVE the idea of turning something damaged into something beautiful again! The first thing I do is machine wash the silk pieces in synthrapol - a product that strips any sizing or other surface contaminants from the fabrics. Then the fun begins. I mix up batches of procion mx dyes - the basic color families red, blue, and yellow and mix my color batches from those.

Once the fabrics have soaked in the dye/soda ash solution for at least an hour, I 'cook' the fabrics in my microwave (no NOT the one we use for eating - one just for this very purpose!). I zip a bag closed, leaving open only a tiny portion open on top for the hot air to escape - I haven't had an exploding bag yet! (knock on wood) - then I cook each bag on high for 4 minutes. After all the bags have been cooked, I let them camp outside overnight to watch the stars (and cure a bit longer :-)

In the morning I rinse the contents of each bag seperately (and rinse, and rinse!) until the water runs pretty clear, and then they all go through a hot machine wash with synthapol again - this time the synthrapol removes all excess dye from the pieces. All that's left is drying and ironing.

In the next couple days, I hope to paint and foil some of the pieces, oh boy, more fun! I have some ideas in my head of projects I want to create with the fabrics, hopefully things I can bring to Art and Soul Portland for vendors night. I'll also be bringing some bags of dyed and painted small fabric pieces that I'll be selling there as well. I can't believe how the summer is just flying by, there is still so much I want to do outside in this beautiful sunny weather....

I hope you are enjoying enjoying the summer too, thanks for stopping by!


Colorsonmymind said...

Oh such rich vibrant colors. i can't wait to see what you make from them.

tararossstudios said...

Beautiful colors, it makes me happy!