Monday, April 6, 2015

Diane Franklin's Book "Dyeing Alchemy" + Dye Calculator

If you use Procion MX dyes or want to learn how, then I have a treat for you.   Check out Diane Franklin's self published book "Dyeing Alchemy - A Primer About Procion MX Dyeing."   I admit to paging thru it shamelessly first for the artwork.   Diane excels at Shibori, but has experience in a wide array of dyeing techniques.   She's shared the work of other fiber artists too which keeps you flipping pages.

 I am impress at how thoroughly she covered the topic of Procion MX dyes. You will learn about:

  • the history of Procion MX dyes 
  • how the dyes work chemically
  • the 14 pure dye colors (great comparison chart for purchasing at ProChemical & Dye, Dharma Trading and Jacquard)
  • color theory/mixing dye colors
  • immersion dyeing with powders versus stocks
  • hue gradations and value gradations
  • pyramid dyeing (creating related fabrics from 2 or 3 dyes)
  • dyeing safely
  • supplies and equipment
  • recording your dyeing efforts
  • setting up a dye work space
  • planning an efficient dye day
  • going beyond the basics (think snow dye, thickened dye, painting with unfixed dyes, fabric manipulations, overdyeing, thread dyeing, and more)
  • dye suppliers
  • recommendations for books, DVDs and workshops
All of this information is a valuable resource for me and a real bargain at under $18.  However, what really sold the book for me was the dye calculator.   I'm working to improve my dyeing process.  I want repeatable results.   However, dyeing some days looks like the dreaded word problem...   
If Diana is dyeing a piece of cotton fabric that weighs 1.62 gram and she wants 4% depth of shade using a 5% dye stock, then how much urea, soda ash, salt and dye does she need?   
Some days this feels like a lot of math...   I have the formulas.   I know how to calculate everything (mumble, mumble...if I get out my notes and think about it...)   The joy of plugging in a few numbers and having the answers magically appear is pretty appealing!

I had the pleasure of meeting Diane at a dyeing workshop.   She advertised her dye calculator as a time saving tool that would allow me to frugally use just the right amount of chemicals - urea, soda ash, salt, dye - to get the color I wanted.  Save *time* AND *money*?   I haven't been disappointed.   Many thanks to Diane Franklin for putting out a great tool for fiber artists.   

1 comment:

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