Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dyeing to felt

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to attend a one-day workshop through ATASDA with Pam de Groot on dyeing wool and silk for felting.
I've done a fair bit of dyeing cellulose based fibres and fabrics using Procion dyes, but never gone the route of dyeing my own wool for my felting, choosing rather to buy hand dyed roving.  Not that I hadn't want to before, just I could see my other half rolling his eyes at the purchase of a whole new set of dyes!

Pam was a great teacher, very hands on and practical, giving us guidelines based on her own experience and obvious skill in the field.
We learned to space dye white merino wool roving in the microwave and then in an urn.  It fascinated me to see the wool soak up almost all of the added dye leaving virtually clear water - so unlike Procion dyeing.

We moved on the ombre dyeing of spun wool in the urn where the wool is tied to a wooden spatula over the water and gradually turned rolling up the hank out of the water during the dyeing period.

The result was a beautifully shaded hank of wool (of course I was so impressed I forgot to take a photo of that!)
Later we went on to dyeing fine silks, including tissue silk for nunofelting, and looked at a few shibori methods of binding and overdyeing layers of colour.  I was finally able to shibori dye a piece of white kimono wool fabric from my stash.
Overall a fun day and one full of inspiration for my felting.

And last but not least, this weekend you'll find me at the Wheel 'n' Weft Craft Exhibition and Sale, at Thornleigh Community Centre, cnr Phyllis and Central Aves, Thornleigh (next to Bunnings).  Sale is on Sat 5 May 9-5pm and Sun 6 May 10-4pm - love to see you.

1 comment:

krex said...

Good luck with the show . I recall my first nervious wool dying....terrified I would felt it while dying but so tired of getting half felted dyed wool off Etsy that I decided to try .Warning... it's very addicting but a nice break on the muscles from felting .