Tequila Sunrise

I've been spinning up samples from that big dyeing project I did about 10 days ago. My plan was to dye four different mixed-fiber blended tops with acid and natural dyes, to determine what kind of results I'd achieve with each dye. The challenge is that protein and cellulose fibers usually need different types of dyes and so these mixed-fiber blends would take up each kind of dye in unusual ways.

After I began spinning the samples, I realized that what I thought was going to be the cotton/silk blend, turned out to be 100% cotton, and the silk/bamboo blend turned out to be 100% silk. I am awaiting the newly-shipped blends from my supplier so I can continue my experiment as originally planned. Nevertheless, I completed the samples with the 100% cotton and 100% silk tops and those pictures are shown here.

These first three photos, on the left, are 100% cotton samples. The sample on top was dyed with acid dyes -- interesting, because dyers don't normally use acid dyes on cellulose fibers, but the results were noteworthy. Bottom line: the cotton took up the acid dyes and with steam setting, the colors are fast.

The middle sample was dyed with natural dyes (fustic, madder, cochineal and logwood gray), and mordanted for protein fibers (i.e., with alum sulfate). Still quite a bit of dye takeup even though cotton is a cellulose fiber.

This third sample was dyed with natural dyes and mordanted for cellulose fibers with alum acetate. There was even more dye takeup, as I expected with the cellulose mordant.

The next set of photos is of 100% bombyx silk samples. In the top photo on the right, the sample was dyed with acid dyes, which are a typical dye class for silk fiber.

The second silk sample was dyed with natural dyes, and mordanted for protein fibers with alum sulfate. There was less dye takeup than with acid dyes, even though silk is a protein fiber and this sample was mordanted for protein.

The last silk sample was dyed with natural dyes and mordanted for cellulose fibers, with alum acetate. There was an amazing amount of takeup even though the silk was mordanted as if for cellulose fibers. This last sample was also spun in singles, rather than 2-ply. I am experimenting with handspun silk singles, which I will eventually weave with, to see how well the handspun singles works as woven warp.

I'll be moving onto another project until the new fiber blends arrive, then I'll complete this project. I did already dye and spin the merino blend fibers, but I want to do a four-fiber comparison before uploading photos.
Meanwhile, it was my birthday today and I worked on my business plan for my textile art. It was a highly productive and fun day, lousy weather notwithstanding.


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