Friday, February 24, 2012

Blue and Green Linen Cotte begun


This is not my first tunic ever made, but this will be my first attempt at dying the fabric myself.  I looked at various fabric stores and could not find the exact color and texture I was looking for.  I decided to dye some fabric on my own.  Mind you, this was not intended to be an A&S project and I had no intent on using period manners when I attempted dying.  I simply wanted to derive the right color I was looking for without the over bright "modern" looking colors. I ended up dying two sections of natural linen.  The color was still a bit brighter than I would have liked.  I suppose if I want true period colors I will one day have to learn how to do dying in a period manner.

Linen in green dye bath

Linen rung out and waiting for rinsing.

I chose to dye the fabric in a tub rather than the washing machine.  I chose this for two reasons.  First, I have a front loader.  When the machine is running the door locks.  To open the door the machine must drain first.  Makes it hard to check the progress of the dye.  Second, I wanted to closely monitor the color.

Wool in green dye
I made a number of mistakes and as I have said, this is my first attempt.  My biggest mistake was to not wear gloves.  I hate the feeling of rubber gloves and so I chose not to use them.  "How bad can it be?" I thought.  Well, it was pretty bad.

Reason folks will look at me oddly for the next few days.

Here is the next step in my project.  The outer portion of the overall outfit I am making will be blue and green linen and wool.  This is a bucket of wool soaking in the dye.  This one will have to soak overnight me thinks to get the to the proper shade of green.  If this works well enough I will have to repeat the entire process once more with some more linen and wool, only making it blue this time.

Wool before dye.
100 %wool, purchased from Hancock fabrics on clearance.

Wool soaking in blue dye bath

The green dye turned out so well, that I began processing the next batch.  I used the same brand commercial dye and about the same amount of time for each soak.  I was really hoping for a nice faded color.  Period looking, but not super vibrant.  I'd like the garment to look worn, and not right off the shelf.  I really LOVE the way the blue linen came out.
Blue linen dyed and washed once.
Fingers successfully dyed blue as well.