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Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Blazer Project - Round 1

Last fall, a woman approached me and asked me to dye a blazer for her. She had a white corduroy blazer that she wanted dyed black. After some negotiation, we ended up with a contract which spelled out all the problems I could foresee. These ranged from shrinkage issues and un-dyeable polyester to uneven color coverage. We agreed on navy blue instead of black.

I decided to do a vat dye (rather than low water immersion), using a 5-gallon bucket. I mixed the dye and put it in about 2.5 gallons of water. I added the jacket, agitated it and let it sit for two hours, stirring it around every 15 minutes or so. When I was ready to add the soda ash, I let the jacket drain into the bucket until my arm got tired. Moving it to a tub created a mess! I'm glad I don't vat dye on a regular basis. I had blue dye all over! With the blazer in a large tub, I poured soda ash over it. I manipulated the jacket to get the soda ash spread throughout. I'm not sure I did a good job, as a blazer is much more difficult to work with than a yard or two of cotton! I expect to dye it twice, maybe three times to get an even color.

I rinsed the blazer the next day in the washer (delicate cycle, cold water). This is the blazer (front and back) after the first dye. There are light and dark areas of color as I expected. I love the color changes, but not what my client is looking for!

The topstitching thread is obviously poly. I'm going to color it (probably with a Sharpie) when the dyeing is finished. Round 2 tomorrow!


Tina Marie Rey said...

I would buy it like that if I saw it in a store! Came out super, thanks for taking photos at each stage - it will definately be interesting to see how it comes out!

Tanya Brown said...

I'm with Tina Marie - I love the way this looks as is! Too bad the customer needs a result that's less serendipitous.

CalicoDaydreams said...

I would consider a Micron pigma pen instead of the sharpie- they work wonders!