Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dye Day

Today was dye day at the House of Shea. Remember the 75 boxes of egg dye that I and my Mom purchased recently? I decided it was high time that we test these for color accuracy and saturation. This literally took half of my day and all of my kitchen to do.

I got out a bag of scrap fiber and the postal scale and measured out bumps that weighed .2 ounces each.

I got out all the glass jars I could find and mixed up my dyes with the vinegar. The directions suggest 1/2 cup water and three tablespoons vinegar per dye tablet. I did some playing around and found that for each .2 oz bump, I would need 1/4 cup of product to get the deep color that I was looking for. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

I set up my table with post it notes on two sides. Top down was yellow, orange, green, red, blue and purple. Left to right was blue, green, yellow, orange, red, purple. Once these were dyed in the microwave (2 min. on and 2 min. resting until dye exhausts) I put them on plates and on the table in their graph position so that I could keep up with what colors were mixed together.

These really don't make sense lined up as they are in this picture. Once they dry I'll be able to set up a color wheel to show you how they turned out.

The colors were not what I expected at all. Purple and Green dye tablets are not at all true. The purple likes to break and is more blue than true purple. The Green is a Teal green and has way too much blue in it. Red, Orange, Yellow and Blue were as expected.

I was looking for more muted colors in some areas and didn't get them at all. I will have to go back and add more complimentary colors into what I already have on the table.

It will be interesting to go back and overdye some of these with browns and grays. I'll either do this with Wilton's or I will break down and get some more Jacquard dyes to do this with.

EDITED TO ADD: There is both Red #40 and Red #3 dyes in these tablets. The box does not say which colors contain which reds. However, the purple kept breaking like crazy, so I guess it's safe to assume it has the red #3 in it. Red #3 can be persnickety at the best of times. It has a problem with acidity. It's not soluble below 6 ph so when the acid, in this case vinegar, is added, it separates and will eventually wash out. Next time I try this, I will add the acid very, very slowly and probably on the stove top over a long period of time and check the results then.