Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Calming The Excited- Overdyeing

Wild Spot Wild Spot split in two
black added on the right
violet added on the left

I'm giving a dye class in my Online Studio - Wanderful Dyeing.
One of the students, Lynn, asked this great question:

Wanda, I have noticed a few of the dyers overdyeing with black to tone down bright colors & have asked them to share their technique. Then I thought others might like to know too, how you go about doing this. Does it work best as an overall wash without much stirring, or does it depend on what colors you might want to keep & then use a spot method? Thank you so much for hosting this class. It sure got me thinking about color & experimenting with it! And your videos are such a great way to learn. Last night I looked at my stack of wool that I had dyed for this class & thought, wow, there are pieces here that I just can't wait to hook with!

Here is my reply:
Overdyeing with black ..... or overdyeing to calm down excited colours.
DYES Decide how much do you want the colour to deepen in value to know how much dye to add. Then you need to look at your wool colours, if you have yellow in it and wish to retain a yellowish cast and turn it into gold, you can't add lots of black, it turns yellow green. It would be prudent to use a brown then. You still have the same calming effect but with a warm cast. Also I frequently use a dullish purple (towards blue) to calm down wool with warm colours.
To calm cool colours I like to use a dull orange.
I do use black quite a bit but only for certain colours, blue for instance, black makes a nicer calmer than say blue's opposite colour orange, which may turn blues green easily.
I like to use black with reds also because the results are spectacular, beautiful burgundies,wines and deep roses. Brown also makes a delicious combo with red.
METHOD I usually use an overall wash. For keeping out certain colours I don't rely in spotting because of its ham fisted lack of control. If I'm going to bother of keeping colour out of certain parts of my wool I would just paint dye on the parts I wanted changed in my frying pan. This would result in my efforts being rewarded with my desired outcome. I might even provide a resist to with an elastic to the parts I want to stay the same.
The uglier the wool, the greater power of dye I like to use. If you have spots or textures that are spectacularly low on the easy on the scale scale, I fight fire with fire. If the wool is mostly cool I'll use the brightest of oranges. If warm I'll use very bright violet.
I'm so glad you have enjoyed the class, it truly seems to me to be the best way to learn, you are on your own time, in your own home, with your dyes and equipment. What could be better ?

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