Thursday, March 12, 2009

My love affair with 'Scrunch dyeing'

For the first several years after I started tie-dyeing, I did folded and tied patterns almost exclusively. The few times I attempted a 'scrunch', which is where you crumple up the garment and randomly apply dye, the results were less than good... they were really bad! But a few years ago, I found instructions on line at Paula Burch's 'All About Hand Dyeing website, and I have been a fan ever since. Actually, Paula properly refers to the technique as 'Low Water Immersion' dyeing, because the amount of liquid used is very small compared to vat dyeing. But the 'scrunching' of the item to be dyed remains one of the basic components that creates the beautiful, organic colors and patterns. Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about:

This one is a 2-stage dye job: Bubble gum pink first, then the second layer is deep black.

This one was done with 3 colors in one dye bath: Orchid, Lilac and Bronze
This is one color - camel! But it 'bleeds' out to a peachy shade, and also there is a hint of pale blue. This happened to be done on a cotton/spandex combination, and the addition of spandex adds to the pattern, I think.
The thing I love about 'scrunch' dyeing, is they are truly one-of-a-kind items! I could dye a dozen shirts using the same dye, and they would all come out looking unique. That's what it's all about!

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