Dyeing Batting, Making a dye with Copper,New paint and Cappuccino.Posted: March 21, 2011
I had an unusual experience last week. I was asked why I dyed batting! Actually the questioner did not know what batting was, so if you don’t know, it is the stuff you put in between the two layers of a quilt. It can be wool, polyester, cotton, bamboo, I have even heard of a batting made from seaweed! Also it can be called different things for example wadding, stuffing, or padding. Interestingly Google does not seem to recognize wadding and has a problem with batting! Luckily someone came to my rescue and answered for me, however having thought about it I know that I dyed the batting to see how it reacted. Also because it was there! I have had varied results and so did some research into the different battings I had been using, and found that the one I thought was pure cotton was actually 13%’ something else’ This is why the back of the fabric did not dye well. Where it had been needle-punched had caused the 13% to show through and the ‘something else’ did not take up the procion mx dye, this is the piece on the left hand side of the above photo. The piece of batting on the right had side is also showing the needle-punched side but is either 100% cotton or 100% bamboo. I love stitching with the dyed batting it is soft and easy to sew through and of course does not fray.
These two photos show a jar containing Cloudy Ammonia and copper. In the beginning, a week ago, I put a roll of copper wire into a 750 ml bottle of cloudy ammonia, a couple of days later I decided this would not be enough copper and so added a few copper plumbing fittings! The photo on the right shows the ammonia a week later. I have not managed to find any sites that have dyed fabric this way and only one that dyes yarn. This site has no instructions so this is truly an experiment out on my own. My very limited knowledge of chemistry tells me that some sort of gas will be forming between the copper and the ammonia so I have the lid on tightly and will release some gas on the balcony each week. My idea is to wait until the liquid is a very coppery blue/green shade and then try dipping fabric into it. The yarn dyer thought it would take four weeks to get the right shade for dyeing. As soon as I can get to a compounding chemist I will get some copper sulphate crystals, you know the sort you make large crystals on thread for your kids, and try using those as well. If anyone finds any references to dying fabric by either of these methods could you please let me know or send a link. My lightfast test is going to be hanging a square for 6 months on my North facing balcony! I will also do a washing test by having a piece to just throw in the wash every time I put a load on.
For those of you who don’t know we had to send Molly to a better place last Wednesday. Her cancer had spread to her lungs and she could barely breathe. We were devastated and are still very sad but we have a lot of very nice friends giving us love and support. Here she is on the day before.
Here are the new set of water colours I ordered from the UK a week ago! they are from DMTV and made by Kohinoor, sold as “intensely pigmented”. They are intensely bright and lovely to use. I will end with a texture photo. Guess what it is!