Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I think I'm going to dye...

Hello lovely watchers!

An update, I did finish my Weird Thing (my Katniss Cowl) but we never got another snow and I wasn't able to find a photographer... I don't even have a blank wall to use to take a picture :p I'll eventually get one up, but spring is finally upon us, so no nice wintery shots :p

This post is more for a brainstorming session.  I like to dye my own fabric for my projects, and I use yardage of silk quite a lot. At the moment, I'm using a load of wool for my Merida costume.

To use acid dye for silks and wools, you have to bring it to a near boil and maintain the temperature for the dyes to work most efficiently. I have the largest pot I could find, and I can usually dye a couple yards of silk in it if I use the barbeque to boil the water, but things like velvet and wool I'd have to chop up the fabric into 1 - 1.5 yard sections, and that's a pain as each dye bath would have to be the exact same formula of dye powder, water, and temperature - hard to maintain on a grill. I've tried dyeing in the washing machine, with the hottest setting and adding boiling water, but it's still hard to maintain. I'm trying to brainstorm what I can use as a dye pot that can take heat and large quantities of water. My dad is building me a firepit with something built in to hold a big dye pot. It is best to be steel because iron or copper would react with the dye solution. I was thinking of those big galvanized steel tubs, but I fear those wouldn't be able to take the heat or weight. Does anyone have any good ideas for large dye pots?


  1. Look for homebrew kettles, maybe? They may be price prohibitive, but they're made of stainless steel and often have spigots installed at the base for easy emptying. Back before breweries started demanding higher deposits on their kegs, we scored several half barrel (15 gallon) ones from a liquor store at about $15 a piece. We took an angle grinder with a metal cutting blade on it and cut out a circle in the top that would fit a lid we already had and then took a metal cutting step bit to drill holes in the sides for spigot fittings and such. We use them over propane burners like what you find in turkey fryer kits. I have an extra one that I was going to dedicate to dyeing, but I haven't gotten the chance to cut it up and clean it yet. I should make that a priority this summer.

    1. That's an interesting idea, I'll have to keep an eye out for one. Thank you!