Monday, March 30, 2015

Microwave a Hot Water Bath for Cold Day Dyeing

What would we do without friends?   Kay was describing how she proofed bread on chilly days by microwaving a cup of water, then letting that frozen dough sit in the the steamy microwave with the hot water.   In an hour, reheat the water and return the dough for further raising.  Smart...   So, today I heated a deep dish pie pan half filled with water in the microwave.   I set the container of fabric being dyed into the middle of the pie pan and shut the door.   An hour later, I reheated the water.  So easy!  After two hours I washed out the fabric.

Previously, I would put smaller dye jobs in the niche that houses my husband's computer CPU.  It stays consistently warm there.   Unfortunately, he took a dim view of my Ziploc baggies of fabrics and dye near the electronics.   A strategy for larger items has been a heating pad underneath and a box above to catch warmth.  I'm always afraid that I'll forget to turn it off...

I finished printing a piece of fabric today and was determined to fit it into the microwave too.   I spritzed it with a fine mist of water as most of the layers of dye had dried, rolled it in a plastic garbage bag to keep the layers of fabric separated from each other and folded the roll in thirds to fit into a plastic steamer basket.   The steamer basket sits up on legs which allowed me to suspend it over the hot water in the pie pan.   I plan to leave it in the microwave overnight.  I'm looking forward to the washout as this is supposed to be a light background layer.   I used a weak dye solution in the print paste, so the resulting piece should be more of a textured background.

I'm looking forward to the warmer weather, so that I can batch fabrics outside under black plastic.  I have two teenaged drivers, so no more batching in the back of the old car.   It's gone too often!  

What are your favorite strategies for cold weather MX reaction dyeing?

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out! If only I could figure out how to steam Remazol liquid dyed pieces in a microwave! Hmmm....I wonder how long that would take!