Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My Not so Easy Ikat

I bought some 7/2 silk in Visalia to play with Easy Ikat. Here are two of the silk cones I bought. I decided to throw them into my crock pot at low along with some other silk that I was preparing for dyeing. And low and behold - much to my chagrin the most of the pink and the green colors came out.

Looks like I have some cones which lose their color at the warmer temperatures. I tested them in cold water and the colors were fast. Sara Lamb had mentioned she once bought some silk that did the very same thing.

Oh well, so much for 'no planning' Easy Ikat... I will just have to add some steps to the process...first I need to test how much color will actually wash out. I will also need to test that if I over dye the resulting silk that those colors will remain fast.

So here's the plan. First, I am going to test how much the colors are lost in different temperatures of water. I am going to tie up some of the silk in its original state with the plastic strips in a pattern of serendipity. Dye the skeins black. Come up with a design incorporating the black along with stripes of the six original colors I bought. I will weave three identical pieces using a bit of each color weft. Then throw one in hot, one in warm and one in cold water and see what happens to the colors.

On the left below, is the skein that I tied, dyed black and untied. I used a cold batch dye method using soda ash. I already knew I would lose the color in hot water. Despite using the cold water method, it was surprising how much red washed out during the rinsing. You can see how much less pink the dyed yarn is than on the cone.

One never gets black when dyeing silk. The black used here pushed a deep purplish brown color which looks nice against the pink. I also dyed a skein plain black for stripes and weft.

In the middle, is the skein which was originally green. On the right is the skein which was originally pink. They should made some interesting designs.

PS all this was occurring as I cleaned out my studios, my closest, the den and the gym. I doubt I will make much more progress for awhile - at least until my studio is straightened and the yarn dry. Given the might be a long while.

1 comment:

jackie said...

If you are experimenting any way, why not toss a small skein in some hot with some vinegar?