Thursday, November 17, 2011

November's Tart Kit: Dyeing with Cords

This month we are dyeing with cords to color fabric. The cords have been impregnated with dye which when mixed with a solution of salt and warm water and boiled will transform your white pfd cotton into a vibrant piece of cloth. Be sure to protect your work space, clothing and hands from the dye. You may want to wear a mask as well. There are six colors of cording in your kit. You can use the colors randomly or be specific about blending the colors. Check your colors by cutting an end and placing it on a wet paper towel. You may want to tear your fabric into smaller pieces so that you can try different variations of cord placement.

Lay your cords on your fabric in any configuration you choose. You may use scotch tape to anchor the cords. We have placed them in an "X", in lines, and as snippets.

Carefully, keeping the cords in place, either fold, roll, or scrunch the fabric.
Fold the outside edges to the center, repeat until you have a small bundle. Secure with rubber bands.

As you roll the fabric, tuck the length of cord into the roll.

Once rolled, twist and secure with rubber bands.

Enclose the snippets inside your "envelope" of fabric.

And then scrunch into a ball. Secure with rubber bands.

In a container that will not be used for food, mix a solution of salt and hot water. Immerse your bundle into the water until it is completely saturated. Dye will migrate into the water so do one bundle at a time. When it is saturated, squeeze and massage the bundle to transfer the color through all the layers.

Insert the bundle into a ziplock bag and "burp" it. Drop the ziplock bag into a pot of boiling water and boil for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the bag carefully from the hot water and let it cool in the sink. Remove the fabric from the bag and remove the cords. Rinse thoroughly. If your fabric will be washed in the future, you will want to use soap and water to remove the excess dye.





You have also received a small piece of handdyed cotton that you can over dye.
As long as there is color in the cords, you can dye with them. You can also use your colored salt/water solution to dye, although it will leave the fabric a pale color. Experiment with your cord placements and color combinations and see what interesting designs you can make.