Tuesday, 15 April 2014


I have dyed 7 pieces of fabric with Heather's recipe for 'that perfect colour', using three parts turquoise to 1 part boysenberry, and using hotter than normal water.  I started with very strong dyes, then decreased the concentration by a factor of 2 for each subsequent dye bath.  As I did not have 7 buckets available I used large plastic bags, but attempted to manipulate the fabric as much as possible to get reasonably even colours.  The seventh piece was pure cotton, dyed the same concentration as the 6th, but for the rest I used a silk/bamboo satin fabric.  In Canada I had loved using a Kaufmann fabric, Radiance, which was a silk/cotton mix and which dyed a slightly different colour on each side.  I was hoping this fabric would do the same.

Here's the results!!  The fabric on the far left is the cotton, the rest are the silk/bamboo mix, going from least dye on the left to most dye on the right.  The fabrics are folded so that you can see both sides of each piece.  As you can see, I got vastly different results from the two sides of the fabric!!  The single cotton piece dyed far more evenly; whereas the silk sucked up the boysenberry dye, leaving the bamboo side much paler and generally bluer, and both sides showed a larger variation across the fabric.  I presume this was because the dye struck much faster on both the bamboo and the silk than the cotton.

I think I may have to order more of this fabric, but perhaps I had better play with these pieces first.


  1. Your results are so interesting, Linda. Is this the colour you were going for? Maybe a little redder than you wanted?I recently had another go at the "recipe", but used almost boiling water from the kettle. This seemed to "potentiate" the turquoise even more, with results that were bluer than expected. I overdyed with a weak solution of boysenberry to compensate, with mixed results.

  2. They look good, Linda. But that depends on what you had in your mind. Plenty of bluebells out at the moment to check the colour...

    Last week I did some dyeing and had a disaster with the blue - I am now firmly convinced that I leave this to the experts who know what they are doing!


  3. Definitely a bit redder than I had expected, despite the hot water. However I think I'm going to find sufficient to use for what I have in mind. Just need to finalise the design and try a few samples. I've signed up for another 3 day course at the FOQ this year; more dyeing and printing! I'm looking forward to it.

  4. As frustrating as it is I still get a buzz when I dye because of the unpredictability of the results. Glad you have enough to work with.

  5. Phil, that is exactly how I feel about dyeing, I love the thrill of the hunt. I am completely unscientific about it and revel in the unexpected. But if something specific is needed, this is a disadvantage, of course.