Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dyeing for a Visit

I had an all-star day visiting with my friend Jackie Gauker - creator of the most beautiful hand-dyed wools you have ever seen!

This is part of her inventory - if you ever visited Quilter's Palette it will look familiar - that was her quilt shop which she closed a few months ago. Since then she has been taking some well-deserved time for herself, but back to reality - time to dye!

Here are the fruits of her labor from yesterday's dying session - - - don't drool!!!
Here's a multi-colored sample
This is her dying bible - Dying Wool by Karen Shellinger.
When she started dying wool she was using 5 basic colors - - - as you can see, her palette has expanded.
Here is her fabric waiting to be dyed - she soaks it in water treated with synthrapol. She dyes all different colors of wool - even dark wool. She sampled a dark brown wool in a purple vat for me - - - the wool took a distinctive purple hue - - - very interesting.

She has become a connoisseur of wool - this is her favorite resource for good quality dying wool. Dying wool is very different from dying cotton - citric acid is added to the dye bath. Here's her work space.
Know what these things are???
They are measuring spoons for the dye. And, fyi - you don't wash them off to clean them - you dip them into salt to remove the dye powder.
Unlike dying cotton which requires room temperature water, wool dying requires boiling water. Jackie uses her stove and 2 additional 2 burner hot plates for her dying sessions.Those are stainless steel food grade pans - this is serious dying paraphernalia - the addition of citric acid requires only the best of equipment.

Here's a three stage multi-dye sample on a winter white wool. First step - boysenberry.
Second step - some plum swirled into the mix.
And third step some yellow to tone it all down.
Let's say it together - - - ohhhhh, ahhhhh!!! Dying is so addictive!
Thanks for the tutorial Jackie! If you'd like to get your hands on some of her wools and are local to the Philly area you can find it at Chester County Quilting in Phoenixville.

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