Scarlet and pale aqua
makes for an unexpectedly attractive combo.

I tend to dye in batches: it's a more efficient use of the various chemicals, which (realistically) have to be made in certain minimum quantities. —In order to save money and not have to order a lot of different colours of dye, I purchased pure base colours[1] and mixed my own, to wit:

  • red
  • fuchsia
  • turquoise
  • cyan (a darker turquoise)
  • yellow
  • black

white cotton long sleeve shirt, dyed with scarlet & turquoise. N.b. click on the images for a high-resolution full-size version.

Because I love lime green and purple, I had already used a fair amount of the fuchsia and turquoise (to make purple, besides liking them on their own) and almost all of the yellow [2] (for green). This left me with a lot of black, fire-engine (orangey) red and dark blue: so those were the colours I used in this series.

dyed cotton shirt–back. Photographed 25oct2016, so I made this piece almost exactly a year from the page about it.[3]

Most of the pieces followed the series of steps I adapted from Jane Dunnewald's Complex Cloth. This is sort of a scrunchy cross between a lazy form of shibori & the ‘stealth’ dyeing I used to do at WSU with my friend's leftover dyes (as opposed to her just pouring them down the drain, which I thought terribly wasteful. It is not, however, the full-on ‘low-water immersion’ technique (which looks very similar) that I used in 2017.

Red is notorious for poor wash-fastness, but I had reasonable luck with it—the most annoying thing from my point of view is that while the shirt is 100% cotton, the thread holding it together obviously isn't. Nontheless, F2tE liked the way this came out so much ze wanted the shirt, so I wrapped it up as a xmas prezzie.

This was my favourite piece, too, so I'm very glad to have a good photographic record of it.

[1]In 2008, so far as I can tell! So I get out my dyes every few years and play...

[2]because while visually you mix yellow and blue (when using additive, e.g. pigmented) hues, physically only a tiny amount of blue is needed in comparison to yellow.

[3]By October it's getting cold, and dyeing is an outdoor activity—so it's sort of a weather-imposed deadline each year...