Fabric dyeing workshop

When you teach anything in the textile area, you need a good collection of samples for the class to look at and feel.  Over the years my samples of hand-dyed primary colours have ended up somewhat out of order and with gaps, as I have taken out this or that piece because it was just the colour I needed, and then not replaced it at a later date.

In preparation for a beginner dyeing class last weekend, I decided to do a whole new set of graded primaries and secondaries.  I used the exact recipe that I was going to use in the class, grading the three primary colours from dark to light, and three sets of secondary colours from yellow through orange to red, yellow through green to blue, and blue through purple to red.

Bagged up & batching samples

Sets of primary blue, yellow & red fabrics

Sets of secondary colours

As we couldn’t do every colour in the one day class, each student picked one primary colour to grade, and then dyed a set of secondary colours from the other two primaries.

We used the leftover weak dye solutions to create neutrals.  Depending upon how heavy handed each person was with the blue and red, there were some interesting mixes.


(When I washed out my demonstration pieces, they were nearly all the same mushroom pink with a few green streaks, the orange is a silk scarf)

I don’t usually stick to the recipe every time I am dyeing fabrics for my own use, but I teach it this way so the students can get a feel for what will happen if they put in more water/dye, or less water/dye, and then go on and experiment on their own later, as they did with the neutrals.

If the noise level was anything to go by, everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, and went home with lots of new fabrics, highly excited and eager to do more.

This picture says it all.  I thought I had better get a photo before it was all cleaned up.

Looks like the remains of a party

Till the next party class …


2 responses to “Fabric dyeing workshop

  1. I am so excited about the class. Definitely a creative process in a small apartment. 🙂