Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Adventures in Dyeing

I read about dyeing with shaving cream on one of the rug hooking lists I belong to, and I decided to give it a try. It did not quite turn out the way I expected (it rarely does the first time). It is a bit of a messy process involving mixing powdered dyes with a teeny bit of water to form a paste, and then mixing the paste with shaving cream. After that's done spread a thin layer of shaving cream in the bottom of a disposable aluminum pan. I used the old pan I use for casserole dyeing, I lined it with aluminum foil. Then the colored shaving cream is spread and swirled and dolloped on top of the cream in the pan. My youngest, Siobhan, wanted to do that part. That being done, the fabric, in this case a small piece of cream wool which I soaked in 1/2 c. of vinegar and water and then wrung out, was laid on top of the shaving cream. The leftover colored cream was put on top. I put the pan in the oven at 250 degrees for half an hour.

I think with more swirling, less spreading, and maybe a tiny bit more water in the shaving cream mix the results will be a little better. I used Cushings dyes in 3 colors: aqua green, green and blue, and the colors certainly are pretty intense; however there are quite a few specks from unmixed dye. They were very apparent in the shaving cream mix, and as much as I stirred, I just could not get rid of them, but the water may help. I'm going to try again after dinner, with more earthy color greens, and see what the result is. I wonder how it would work on cottons? Do the whole process with fiber reactive dyes minus the heat and wrap in a plastic bag for a few hours. Hmm, I may try that as well.


Melissa said...

That's interesting--did you fold the fabric before putting it in the pan to bake? What does baking shaving cream/cotton/cushing dyes smell like?

Paula said...

Well it smells like shaving cream. Like when your dad shaves except much stronger. I didn't fold the fabric, I cut it to fit the pan. The piece I did was wool, not cotton and I'm going to cut a couple strips off the piece and hook a small sample to see what it looks like once it's all dry.