Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My experience with Colorhue dyes

I stumbled on Colorhue dyes this spring as I searched for ultralight silk thread. My source is http://www.silkthings.com/ . I was fascinated by these dyes due to their ease of use. You apply the dye to dry or wet silk, the strike is instant, and there is no after fix or wait required. They discharge well and clean up is easy. I bought the sampler pack for trial and later ordered full size bottles of the primaries . The instructions that accompany the product are adequate.

The downside to Colorhue for me is that you can not paint with it and it is virtually impossible to mix it sufficiently to avoid an occasional fleck or speckle. You can, however, mix it with shaving cream and sponge or screen it on without any difficulty. The picture above is a test swatch that I made screening over stencils with Colorhue. Mind you, this was a scrap that I did for play. It is so liberating to try color and ideas without delay or hassle.

This orange chiffon capelet and tank were done solely with Colorhue. http://picasaweb.google.com/pam.hebding/20080412?authkey=tDRWDtb2MGI#5246360908903674194 You can not see the ombre in the capelet photo for some reason. It is subtle but obvious in person. I sewed the capelet (did I say how much fun it is to make chiffon flounces?) scruch dyed the curved neck portion and ties and dip dyed the ombre flounces before attaching them to the neck and tie peices. The top is scrunch died stretch crepe. Like so much of my work this piece had to be changed because of a dyeing problem. This time is was the flecks in the flounce. In order to disguise the flecks I had to repeat the ombre dip dyeing. That resulted in a much deeper color than I originally planned.

There is a bonus in working with Colorhue. You work quickly with the product and there is a lot of dye water wrung out from your work that is still useful. I test the color in the waste water bucket, and if the color is pleasing, throw a yard or two of fabric in the bucket. That gives me a background dye for another project later on.

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