We just can’t get enough of Barbara Schneider! Shelley, Leah and I just did a fantastic one day workshop on vat dyeing with Barbara out at her house. What a fantastic resource (as well as a great person!) she is. She knows SO much and is so good at teaching it to others. We accomplished quite a lot in one day.
For those of you unfamiliar with vat dyeing. It is a process that simultaneously removes color from a fabric and lays down new color at the same time. This allows you to lay down a new, fresh color on previously dyed fabric that, unlike over dyeing with such as Procion, will NOT combine with the color already on the fabric. Additionally, it leaves really cool halos around the new color. The effects are simply stunning.
We spent the morning mixing the vat dyes. The dyes are suspended in a base of corn dextrin, glycerine and formusol-which smells a bit like you have hit a skunk. These are some serious chemicals, so we masked up.
Shelley and Leah make a fashion statement
I had a pretty good look going myself:
Tracy, the fashion plate
We spent the morning mixing dyes. The afternoon was spent creating sample strips and a few larger experiments.Here are some of Barbara’s samples of vat dyeing. These are all vat dyed over already dyed fabrics. Notice the clear colors? The vat dyes will combine with each other; e.g. blue and yellow will still make green, but the dyes are independent of the original color. See the beautiful colors around the vat dyes? I love these!
Barbara used a shibori technique (pole wrapping) over already dyed fabric. Look at the great halos around the purple:
Barbara's vat dye shibori over already dyed fabric
more of Barbara's vat dyed pieces over already hand dyed fabric
Notice how the purple and blue vat dyes combine, but they don’t combine with the original color. Yum!
more yummy vat dyes from Barbara
This one didn’t really seem to lay down any new color, but discharged nicely:
discharged over black
This one didn’t really halo:
a more subtle vat dye
Here are our sample strips. We used the same colors over a variety of fabrics, with incredible variation in results. Some fabrics, like the blacks, discharged color to these lovely reds, but didn’t lay down any of the new color.
My fuscia dyed fabric discharged to the teal family. I will definitely recreate that one.
The velvet below discharged and laid down new color, but didn’t create any halos.
my velvet vat dye experiment
Leah got some really beautiful halos on this silk scarf:
I need to locate a steamer to do this at home and I will be doing lots more experiments. I LOVE the effects.
Any one else have any experience with vat dyeing? I would love to hear about your results.