On one of the last warm days of summer I decided to do a bit of dyeing. And while I was at it I thought I would do a tutorial for rainbow spiral dyeing, as its easy when you know how.
Start with piece of prewashed cloth (to remove any starch) I used a square about a yard long/wide. Lay it flat on the ground in front of you and grasp the centre point and start to twist
it will look like this if you let go...dont let go.
keep twisting, keeping the fabric fairly flat to the ground, until you end up with a tight spiral of all of the fabric, arrange the pleats as you go to keep it fairly neat.
For a rainbow spiral, take three long pieces of string, carefully put the first one underneath, bring it to the top and tie off, do this with the two other pieces so that you have the fabric divided into 6 sections (I know a rainbow has 7 colours, but this is a good approximation)
tie off the string fairly tight (tighter than in this pic) and tuck in the loose ends so you have a neat package
I use the soda soak method of dying, with procion fibre reactive dyes, this means that the (dry) fabric gets soaked for about 20 minutes in a strong solution of washing soda and water.
I mix up red blue and yellow dyes, power and water, in disposable containers!..you only need about 1/2 pint of strong colours.
take out the fabric and squeeze out as much liquid as you can, keeping the spiral intact. Set it on the draining board of the sink..or work outside..it is messy.
'Fill' in three segmentswith your three primary colours, yellow, skip one, red, skip one, blue , skip one...( you will notice from the photos that I screwed this up..but it still looks OK, tie dyeing is very forgiving. You don't have to completely soak each segment, some white is good and will look good in the end. Don't worry about staying inside of the lines..as long as you have complimentary colours adjacent to the ones you are adding, they will blend and look great. I use a big paintbrush to put the colour onto the fabric.
then mix some yellow with red, and paint the 'empty' segment with the resulting orange, Ditto red and blue=purple and yellow and blue= green
its a messy process, my legs were interestingly patterned when I was done.
You can either put the spiral, very carefully into a plastic bag to allow it to soak for a while, this should increase the intensity of the colour a bit..or if you are like me, cut off the threads, rinse out the fabric to remove excess dye and glory in the eye-popping colour.
this is the very best way to revive tired bedlinen, makes a great centre for a quilt and is just fun,
once you are done you might find you have dye left over, so scurry all around your house for tired white cotton clothing, chuck them in the soda soak and then have fun!
of course you can use this technique for any other spiral dyeing you want to do, one colour with white is always good, ditto two. I only own the primary colours of dyes (+black) and I mix whatever colour I want. The only thing to remember when tye dying is that if you end up mixing all three primary colours you will get a muddy result..
therefore if you wanted to dye something purple (red+blue) and green (yellow+blue) and they mix, you are likely to get a brownish muddy colour where they overlap. So stick to only two primaries at a time plus their mix
ie red, yellow and orange. Or blue green and yellow....or just make sure that there is a gap between the colours and you can mix it up to your hearts content.