Friday, 1 February 2013


This week I have been really challenged trying to dye prefelt blue. Not yellow or red that was easy just blue. The problem was disguised at first. I successfully dyed a yellow and a orange piece along with and a mottled pink. I then mixed some blue into yellow and orange to make I hoped a brilliant lime green, an olive green and a brown. They were rather disappointing , in that instead of making green , I made shades of dirty yellow and instead of brown a rather reddish orange. But I thought I could make it work and continued to try and make a dark blue and a pale blue. What I made was two quite large pieces of very pale blue. It was then I realized that the problem with the green and brown was that the blue in the mixtures was virtually invisible. This was happening to both brilliant blue and turquoise. This is overall colour combination I had made. A totally dire mixture I am sure you will agree.

So I began to think about what had gone wrong. Was the concentration of the blue dye too weak, had it not dissolved properly, was the vinegar solution not acidic enough, had I not steamed the prefelt for long enough , had I rinsed it too soon... Endless possibilities of were the process could have gone wrong.

So I tried increasing the concentration , slightly better but still nothing like the effect I was looking for. Testing different vinegar concentrations, no discernible difference. Steaming longer and cooling down in dye mix before rinsing. At last this seemed to have cured the problem, perhaps not the vibrant blue I hoped for , but not a total wash out. So I have now redyed all the samples containing blue except the olive and now have this collection of prefelt to work with.

Now I only have the challenge of making a piece and felting it in the washing machine !

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