"It was once thought that the storage life of fiber reactive dye solution was their biggest downfall. On cellulose fibers (plant material such as cotton), dye stock must be used within 2 weeks for repeatable results. However, dye to the nature of these dyes, dye stock may be stored for 6 months and still produce reliable results with protein (silk, wool) fibers."-Italics mine.
Above you can see results using acid dyes (green) on wool and the results on cotton underneath. BIG difference. The top raspberry colored wool was dyed using Procion MX dyes that had sat out without chemicals for about 4 weeks. The wool was dyed with the same technique as acid dyes with fine results.
The samples under that one are also Procion MX dyes that were aged. I got good results and the cotton came out more on the blue side but better than the cotton dyed in acid dyes. Interesting?
All of the wool used came from the Yolo Wool Mill.
Yesterday, I went to the Yolo Wool Mill where our daughter works to see how wool is removed from the sheep to start the process of becoming batting and/or yarn. This is the only part of the process I had not yet seen.
This particular animal had the system figured out and gave the sheering guy a run for his money.
Most sheep when turned on their backs become immobile and stiff. This gal had been through the routine so many times that she knew that if she went limp, it makes it a LOT harder to do. She was like a wet noodle and once she slipped down far enough she could kick and wiggle and try to get away. As a result it took 5 times longer to get the job done.
Here's the wool ready to be picked. Lots of weeds, poop, mud, and who knows what else was in there. Next step is to wash the wool. I'll show you the rest of the process next week.
So this week at the Dye Studio, I need to finish up dyeing some silk veils for Japan, work on my next fiber art piece that will be a part of a show this July in Chico, California, get ready for my critique group which is coming to the Dye Studio in 2 weeks to do some dye painting, and try and figure out if I should do a teaching gig at the university this summer or not. It's a class called Introduction to Textile Design Structures. It's been a long time since I taught in a real live classroom with real live students and having to cart real live materials into real time. I don't know. Right now I just want to read my book in the sun and drink iced tea. Yeah. Or take a nap.
Thanks for looking at my blog.