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26717Dye techniques (was: Re: My latest faux surihaku project can be seen here )

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  • ErinK
    Jan 12, 2010
      I've heard you shouldn't use a washing machine for dying if you want to use it for cleaning later. But I have no personal experience on this front.

      With silk, since it's so thin, you can dye many, many yards in one (admittedly gigantic) stock pot. I've done 5 or 10 yards at a time. (Okay, maybe not 10, but definitely 5 yards of broadcloth.) I'm also not sure it's safe to use the pot for food later. I had a dye buddy who'd already sacrificed one to garb (he uses it for laundry too). We also used a thermometer to monitor the water temperature, and a big wooden stick to shove the fabric down into the dye, because it balloons up and the pieces on the surface will get less dyed than the pieces on the bottom.

      Saionji-sensei, very nice work! (As usual!) I'm curious about the wicking effect you said you didn't like - I can't see it in the photos. Would you post a photo of that, or share it privately? (I'd love to try this but I don't want to have unrealistic expectations!)

      My clothing tastes seem to be moving later and later in period, so I'm starting to wonder about some of the more elaborate fabric designs - I have the impression they were all woven in, except for this fading dye technique. (And I think some garments were hand-decorated, though I'm not sure that's pre-Edo. I've seen some marvelous Edo-jidai examples of painted robes.) Anyone have evidence otherwise?

      I'll have to play with dye the next time I have some around and see what I can accomplish. There's a sort of "misty cloud" effect that seems to come around before the Edo period that I've always liked....

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