The other Day I went over to my friend Elizabeth’s house To play with MX or fiber reactive dyes. these are the dye you use for cellulose fibers and silk. I had planed on doing some silk as I am low on some colours but I could not find my silk top. I know I have some but I do not know where it is hiding. Instead I took some flax/linen, hemp and tencel . I had never dyed any of them before.
Here is the dye set up, we are doing low water immersion dyeing.
While I was doing fibers
Elizabeth was doing small skeins. Experimenting for dyeing warps for her loom and to sell.
Elizabeth is a “good” dyer. she measures and rights down how much of each colour she mixed and how much she used for each one. She will be able to reproduce what ever she or her customers would like. Here are Elizabeth’s result. Various fibers: 2/8 and 2/16 cotton, 2/8 bamboo, cottolin and hemp/cotton.
I on the other hand am a “bad” dyer. I just put a bit of dye in the water and wing it. That’s ok because I don’t need to reproduce the exact colour and shade again.
This is my result.
Here they are with the undyed fibers, on the left hemp, on the right tencel and on the bottom is flax/linen.
I did some close ups for you too. The hemp compacted a bit when I squeezed the excess water out. It fluffed up and softened when I shook it and gave it a wack on the table.
The tencel got all crimpy. I was quite surprised.
the flax/linen stayed compacted despite several good wacks on the table. I am not surprised really when yo spin linen you spin it wet. I think it helps it “glue” the fibers smoothly together.
I think I will blend the fibers with some wool to try spinning and to felt with. It was a fun day with Elizabeth, It is always good when you are sharing with other fiber lovers.