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As if to prove that prior preparation and planning cannot always be relied upon, the result of the workshop was a little mixed. There were, as always, variables which I had not foreseen.
The first of these was that the colours are very hard, not to say impossible, to predict. We first did a test strip, using the neat dyes, about 8 different colours. We painted a small circle of each color on a strip of paper, and hurried off to test it on our fabric. Not too hurriedly, the dye must be dry on the paper before transferring it to the fabric. My results:

test strip of dyes and colours

Test strip

As you can probably see, the colour of the dye on the paper is quite different to the colour on the fabric. And I think that on a different fabric it would be different again, so there is no substitute for trying the colours you want on the fabric you are going to use. We then did some more tests, this time mixing two colours together:

test strip of mixed dye colours

Mixed colours

Again, the result on fabric is not very much like the dye on the paper!

We then went on to experiment with different ways of creating designs, and it seems I didn’t take any more pictures. However, I did get some dye put onto fabric, which possibly might end up as a garment at some point. I also came home with some sheets of paper with dye already applied, which I should be able to use somehow.

There are lots of ways of getting colour onto fabric using these dyes, some of which I would not have thought of. You can be straightforward, and paint a picture or design onto the paper, and transfer it onto the fabric. Naturally if you do this the image is reversed, so care is needed if  you are using text.

Alternatively, you can cover the paper with dye, then cut shapes out of it to create a design on the fabric. You could create sheets of flat colour, or mix dyes to a greater or lesser degree to add texture and depth. You can cut out a single shape, like a stencil, or build an image using multiple shapes like a collage. The shapes can be a single colour, patterns or textures. Then you can always print over the top of an existing print with another. A second print made from the same paper will be less bright, but can still be attractive. When you have exhausted the possibilities of transfer dying you can move on to painting with regular fabric paints, or stitching. Really, there is endless scope. The only thing not endless is the amount of time available for all this creativity! However, always optimistic, I am getting together with some other members to buy some dyes, we are going to share them among us so that none of us is too overburdened by yet more stuff!

The dyes come from KraftKolour.

I’m sure I shall find a use for the dyes at some time in the future, apparently they keep for ages, so I have plenty of time. And I am never going to be bored!

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