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 after dye and ringing out.
Not yet dried.
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.

The reason everyone will look at me oddly
for the next 3~5 days!
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.

Here is my next 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.

Before Dye
Wool Soaking in green dye bath
Linen after blue dye
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.

Wool soaking in blue dye bath