Dye Experiments

We got a spare bed for Guys study a couple of weeks ago. Its basically a single bed with two single mattress, the base pulls out so the mattress can be placed side by side to form a king sized bed. We were brainstorming the best ways to cover it for ever day use as a day bed. The room is painted lime green with white trim, the curtains are black/grey/teal/lime green. I suggested an ice dye could be a fun addition, and so the experimenting began!

I ordered a box of dye, found some fabric, and got my dye experimenting on!

Ice dyeing on a lovely sunny autumn day

First up I tried ice dye. I tied my fabric in various ways, laid them on cake coolers in the bottom of a box, layered it with ice, then sprinkled dye over the top. I put the lid on the box and left in in the sun. And waited. The waiting is the worst with tie dye! You want to know if it turned out now! But know the longer you leave it the better it will be!

Ice dye results

The idea behind having cake coolers in the bottom of the box was that the ice would melt and drain away from the fabric. But I miss calculated the volume of liquid the ice would turn into, and the fabric was left sitting in the muck anyways. It wasn’t a complete fail, I was pretty happy with the results for my first go at ice dyeing, although I do have a lot more experimenting to do before I commit to a large enough piece of fabric to cover a single bed!

This is the room and bed we are looking at making a cover for. Currently the bed has a teal sheet coveing it, but we want to make a cover out of some more robust material. I’ve found this lovely cotton/linen blend that is almost like a soft canvas.

Whilst I think about the ice dyeing process and how to get better results next time, I’ve been doing some other dyeing as well.

Guy sold a pair of shoes I dyed as practice before dyeing our converse. He had so many inquiries about them, but they were the wrong size for most people. It made us realize that there are plenty of people out there who would love their very own pair of hand dyed shoes! So I grabbed another couple of pairs of canvas shoes from Kmart and tried out different colour combinations. I think I have this shoe dyeing thing down pat!

these shoes are still drying after pulling them out of the washing machine this morning. The dark blue rinsed out more than I was expecting.

And then I was bitten by the dyeing bug and couldn’t stop. I have a stash of white bed sheets, which, after our recent clean outs, found there way into “Cate’s up-cycle pile” yay! I ripped one into some smaller pieces and have started working my way through “Orizomegami” a book written by Kristin Lawson, published by Artwear Publications. It has been a good way to get started and I’m slowly seeing where or how I could change bits to make them look different.

A rainbow spiral

I’m looking forward to stitching back into some of these pieces. I envision my hand dyes being used in quilting. The sheet I used obviously has some polyester content, it came out more muted than I would expect 100% cotton to dye and you can clearly see the warp has not taken any dye.

I have so many projects on the go at the moment. The lounge room is covered in bits of cut up denim as I work to up-cycle some jeans into a pair of overalls. And I need to make a birthday present for my niece!

I’m loving dyeing so much, my set up has expanded to take up most of the laundry cupboard, there are things drying in front of the dining areas windows and on the backs of chairs!

So for my next trick, I’m going to dye a pair of pants I want to up-cycle! I’m sure I’ll share the results in the coming weeks 🙂

Have a creative week, and I’ll be back next week with some more obscure art projects I’m working on 😀

<3 Cate

3 thoughts on “Dye Experiments

  1. After Easter I have a pair of converse waiting to be dyed, I need to come visit you for a day! Or do it at Easter if we have time and we bring everything we need….

    Looks like you’re having fun!

    1. ooo yes! We can take the stuff, might be a nice break from painting 🙂 and its the kind of thing that you put half an hour of effort into, then 24 hours of waiting!

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