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In this class, we will cover controlling visual texture in fabric dyed with Procion MX fiber reactive dyes. From flat, solid, single hues to wild patterning, we will explore a myriad of ways (115 and counting!) to give our cloth the visual texture that we desire. My methods will mostly be LWI (low water immersion), as this is the method that I find to be most economical in terms of space needed to dye. However, I’ll cover full-immersion methods as well, so that the entire gamut of texture is covered in one place.
Session 1: Supplies, Tools and Space
We begin by covering what you’ll need to complete everything in this course. The few specialized supplies needed are easily available to order online and the bulk of what you will use are easily purchased locally, or better yet, scavenged from your recycling bin (and perhaps those of your friends as well!). We will also cover how to find a place to do your dyeing safely.
Dyeing fabrics with low water immersion is the main tool in my toolbox of texture. In this session we will explore many variables that effect how much or how little visual texture you can achieve through scrumbling fabric and LWI dyeing.
Session 3: Flat Dyeing
Often times we need fabric that has less visual texture than what we can achieve through LWI. This session covers several ways to dye fabric flat, instead of scrumbled, to eliminate most, if not all, visual texture. I will make sure to point out the pros and cons of each method.
Session 4: Full Immersion Baths
Sometimes you need a single color fabric that has no variations at all, and often times the only way to achieve that is will a full immersion bath. We’ll cover three different full immersion methods in this session. I’ll also have a bonus sidetrack for you: indigo! I’ll include an introduction to the simplest type of indigo bath, one made with pre-reduced indigo crystals. If you’d like to explore this along with me, feel free. If you’d like to focus on the Procion MX, well that is just fine. The main reason I’m including it here is that, unlike Procion MX dyebaths, a single indigo vat can last for weeks. So as I continue on with the class, I’ll be able to compare a particular resist technique done LWI and full immersion easily. Of course, the full immersion samples will always be blue, but I thought it would be a fun, easy way to compare and contrast these two methods.
I’ve developed several different ways to quickly and easily shape damp fabric to give it an organic, free form pattern. Loosely grouped under the term “sliding pleats” I’ll share all these quick and easy ways to manipulate your fabric.
Session 6: Physical Resist – Tying and Stitching
When more defined patterning is needed, tying or stitching the fabric to exclude the dye from some areas can give stunning results. This session is an introduction to the Japanese art of shibori; this session could be a whole class in itself. We will explore tied resists (Kanoko shibori), stitched resists (Nui shibori) & pole wrapping (Arashi shibori). These techniques are usually done with full immersion dyebaths, but we shall focus on how do dye these via LWI.
Folding our cloth before we dye it gives us yet another patterning tool in our toolbox. When we clamp the folded fabric with some sort of shaped object, we are experienceing yet another type of Japanese physical resist dyeing called Itajime.
Session 8: Going Vertical
This course concludes with us taking our fabric in another direction: vertical! I’ve got a few techniques to share, including creating a true ombre-style fabric.
Course Time Commitment
This is a self-paced course, meaning you can work through it as quickly or slowly as you need to. I estimate that a motivated student could complete each session in two 8 hour days (so, every weekend for about two months). If you wanted to, you could devote an entire 2 weeks to following this through, beginning to end (what a creative vacation that could be!) However, most of us have lots of other things to do, so at every step along the way I will point out time sensitive steps and discuss how the work could be distributed to fit your needs. (I started dyeing soon after I became a mother, and 15 years later, all I know is how dye around 3 busy schedules! I hear that at some point my oldest son being able to drive will make my life less frazzled – I’ll get back you y’all on that one! !)
Course Access Limit
There is none! You will always be able to return to re-view a video, see if there are questions that other students have asked that are interesting, re-download a sheet that you’ve lost on your computer.
I will use a combination of written worksheets, templates, step-by-step directions with lots of pictures, and videos of steps that could be tricky. Each session will have a Question and Answer forum associated with it – I will respond to any question you have within 24 hours, and both these questions and answers will be available for other registered students to view. The beauty of an online course is that if several people are having the some difficulty with a particular step, I will just create additional content to add to the session to clarify any confusion.
Take this class if…
- You love hand dyed fabrics.
- You would like to have a better understanding of how to create a certain texture the fabrics that you dye.
- You end each dyeing session hoping that the fabrics will have the texture that you were hoping for.
Please don’t take this class if…
- The idea of keeping track of your dye experiments makes you sweat.
- You want to just add dye to fabric and “see what happens”.
Can you take this class without having taken Dyeing 101: Controlling Color?
Yes. In this class we focus on creating visual texture using a single color, or perhaps shades and/or tints of that same color. In the beginning of the class I’ll explain the dye concentrations that I use in terms that folks who have taken Dyeing 101 will understand, and then outline a way to achieve results that are close to mine without the precise measuring we learn in Dyeing 101. There will be an extra layer of understanding that Dyeing 101 folks will be able to take away from this class, but there is lots and lots to learn here without it.
Why learn from me?
By day, I teach biology to students at the University of Redlands who are non-science majors. I am very comfortable engaging my students and putting complex ideas into terms they understand. I’ve spent 15 years learning how to dye fabric, and developed this way of dyeing to accommodate my busy schedule and not waste my limited resources. I have 9 “how to” articles published in various Interweave publications (see list here), I have been a guest on four episodes of Quilting Arts TV, and I created a workshop DVD for Quilting Arts last August. A video clip from that can be found here, and is a great introduction to my teaching style.
When does it start?
July 1st (or sooner). As soon as I get the first 2 sessions formatted, I will email you to let you know that they are live. I will then release an additional session each week until all the content is available. Remember, this is a self paced class with no expiration date!
What do I need?
Dyeing does require a fair amount of supplies, but the vast majority of them are easily and cheaply obtainable, and can be satisfied a number of different ways. In the class I explain why and how to obtain these supplies, and suggest options where appropriate and point out when substitutions would not work. Here is a simple checklist for you to quickly see all the supplies for the entire course. Please feel free to email me (Candy@CandiedFabrics.com) if you have any particular questions about any of these.
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