First, we had to prepare the skeins of thread. There are two main types of embroidery thread, pearl (or perle in French) cotton which is a twisted cotton and cotton floss (also known as 6-stranded cotton.) Pearl cotton comes in many different thicknesses: 3, 5, 8, 12, and 16, with 3 being the thickest and 16 being quite delicate. Six-stranded cotton is literally that, 6 strands that you can separate, depending upon how thick a piece you want for your project. Of course there are many other types of threads or yarns you can use for embroidery and any natural fiber will work for dyeing (silk, rayon, bamboo, etc.) We have several unusual yarns and threads as well as the pearl cotton and cotton floss.
As with any Procion MX dyeing, we then soaked our threads in a soda ash solution, so that the chemical bond would occur in the fiber when the dye is introduced.
The next step was to use a syringe to "paint" the colors on the thread. As you inject the dye onto the thread, you then need to smoosh it down to ensure that it is completely saturated, particularly wherever the ties are. I chose to mainly go with an analogous color scheme from yellow-green, to green, to blue-green, to blue, to blue-violet, to violet. With sticking to one color scheme, I can be assured that my projects using these dyed threads will go together.
When all the dye is on the threads, you carefully roll the threads up in plastic (see red arrow) and then leave it overnight to process. I can't wait to see them in the morning!
|My Mom, Nan Lopis, working|
on her dyed threads
Note: all the threads in the photos above have wet dye on them. The colors will change somewhat upon the dye setting and washing them afterwards. One of my favorite parts of dyeing is when you unwrap it the next day and wash it out... it's like getting a present!
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