Monday, December 15, 2014

Choosing Dyes To Mix and a Beautiful Red

Not all sets of colours make good mixers.
Recently to my surprise I've noticed people employing the red blue green system for subtractive colour use. Don't worry about the use of the word subtractive. That just means using pigments like paint or dye, inks.  It is describing how when we put pigment on something it subtracts some colour from our perception while other colour is left.

The red blue green system is about additive colour. This is the system that operates our computer screens and TV and in stage lighting. These three colours create every colour on a screen. Add them all in and they create white.

We all know when we put all our pigments together in the dye pot we are likely to get black.
These two systems additive ( light ) subtractive ( applied piments)  while both about colour and mixing couldn't be more polar. One theory cannot be applied to the others use.

Using additive colour primaries ( red , blue , green) doesn't get you good full colour wheel results to mix them in a subtractive application, like with our dyes.

If you want to be a full colour array mixer start off with the subtractive primaries that have been successfully in use by visual artists for donkey years.
Turquoise ( Cyan), Yellow, Red Violet ( Magenta) and Black.

The cleaner each of these subtractive mixers are, the better separation you'll get between the colours you can create to make a colour wheel or mix in the dye pot.

You can read more about the comparisons right here.

And that said you can get even more beautiful and expansive colourations by employing the addition of orange, violet and green to these 4 basic colours. Most artworks are reprinted using a 7 colour printer because the colours are more accurate to the original creation.

This full colour use is what I like to employ as a dyer and now a mixer of dyes for sale.
More mixing choices means better colour up to a point.
Our 14 Majic Carpet Dye colours are a great system for artistic and beautiful colour mixing.

They are a bargain right now for US customers because our Canadian $ is weak.... it's like getting 20% off!

Here's a beautiful colour to get your in the mood for Christmas.

Hanchett's Vermont Barn

Hanchett’s Vermont Barn
4/32 tsp. Red
2/64 tsp. Moss Green

1/64 tsp. Chocolate Brown

I dyed this sample over 1/4 yd unless otherwise stated in the recipe. 
I immersed the wet wool in a generous dye bath with the dye solution ( formula ) already added. please add 1/32 tsp of citric acid at after the wool has been swimming with the dye solution for 5 minutes. Heat until water is clear.

Please note red is also very difficult to photograph accurately. I’ve done my best but for certain reds the richness, nor the relative cool or blueness  of them does not show through. 


  1. This looks like a great red so I had to try it tonight Wanda, still cooking but looks fabulous so far!

  2. It's a stunner! I hope you love hooking it !