Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dye job

My roots are as long as my natural hair color so I do need a good visit to my hair stylist but this dye job is not about my hair but about coloring your reed.
light pink/light purple
I am no way a pro or a authority, I  don't even  know if its the right way,  Someone may even say its wrong but its the way I do it and so far its working for me.  I don't dye big batches, I only dye what I think I'll need or want to have on hand so if you are looking for a way to do a whole pound of reed you can incorporate what I do and perhaps work outside with a huge pot and give it a try.  I use Rit dye because its been around forever and that's what I used years ago in North Carolina and those basket still looks good.  When I first started dyeing reed I did use powder, not sure if we had liquid back then (feeling really ancient) but since I tried using liquid, I do prefer them because I can control the dye to water ratio easier except when I do black I use power because black needs to be very strong in order to get it to look really black when it dry.  I've done couple of batches of black with liquid black and had to dye it 2nd time because I didn't have good dye:water ratio and when they dried they looked more Navy blue than black so since then I started using 1 box of black dye to 1 gallon of boiling water and 2tbsp of salt.

I got a cheap pot to use just for my reed because Rit dye is poisonous if consumed. I also have measuring spoon just for my dyes and wooden chop sticks and rubber bands oh don't forget rubber gloves if you don't want your fingers to match your reed you just dyed. I'm not going to tell you to wear your old clothes but do know that sometimes you do get splashed so be prepared!

1. pick out the color you want to dye here is a link to rit dye color formula guide it will be little different no matter what you do because this formula is for dyeing white fabric and reed has a natural darker tone but I think you can get similar tone.  (The dye ratio they give is to 1 cup but I use much more water. like Apple green the chart says 1 Tbsp to 1 cup of water but I use 1 Tbs to 1 gallon of water and get the result I like. )

rubber band chopstick
2. boil a gallon water in your large pot. add about 2 table spoon salt and your choice of dye. Amount of dye will differ depending of how dark and deep you want the reed to be. Make sure the salt dissolves. then add the reed you are going to dye.  coil them loosely and put them in your pot.  if they are tightly coiled, parts that are touching each other may not take the dye so its important that they are loosely coiled and do not over stuff the pot with reed!! if you need to do it in two batches.  if you have a floater use your chopstick and rubber band to make this thing, size the chopstick to the size of your pot and push it down carefully until your reed is submerged.  

3. when it starts to boil again, cover and turn off heat let it steep for 10-15 min.

wet reed
4. check to see how they look. don't forget they dry a shade lighter! I still freak out every time I dye light colors like light pink and lavender because they look really dark but when they dry they look beautiful!

5. wash it in warm water! keep washing until the color stops running.

6. dry them well before putting them away or you will have a very moldy reed.

do play with your dye, try different dye:water ratio try different mix, just write down what ratio you used and what dye and keep a clipping of your reed you dyed with it so you can try to achieve the similar color.

Colors you may want to try:

Light purple: I was out of liquid purple and I had powder on hand so I used .35oz powder in 1 gallon water, 2tbsp salt.  10 min. in a covered pot.

Light pink: 1tsp Fuchsia and 1/2tsp violet, 2 tbsp salt in 1 gallon water, if you want it little darker double the dye.

Apple Green
Apple green: I love this green!!! I like 1tbsp apple green to 1 gallon water and 2 tbsp salt.  if you like a little deeper green use 2 tbsp dye to 1 gallon water.

Evening blue/Denim Blue/Periwinkle

Evening blue: 2 tbsp evening blue to, 2 tbsp salt, 1 gallon water.

Denim blue: 1tbsp denim, 2 tbsp salt, 1 gallon water.

 Periwinkle: I used leftover purple dye water I used to make the light purple  and added 1/2tbsp and 1 tsp Royal blue and got this cute purplish blue!

Have fun! 

Your result may differ from mine so play with the colors and see what you like!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! Do you think there is any benefit to adding vinegar as well? I have seen that some people do salt and vinegar. I love the colors! I just dyed some black and light brown to make Sherian Cody's Stonefly basket. I was thinking about saving the dye in gallon jugs, thicker walled ones like they sell Arizona iced tea in. Have you ever saved it and used it again? I just don't want to keep buying more RIT if I don't need to. I usually dye mine in a 5 gallon bucket in my slop sink in the basement. I use a large freezer bag full of water laying in the top of my bucket to keep the floaters under the water level. Works great!