Friday, October 31, 2014

Know how to "Burn Test your fabrics???

The same question comes up repeatedly,  How can I tell what a fabric is made of?  Whether you are buying old garments or yard goods, here is a method to use in determining what fibers your fabric is made of.  There is a chart in the article by Threads Magazine that you can print and keep for your files.  Knowing what family of fibers your fabric is made of willl solve many of your eco printing problems before they arise.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Testing the Merits of your dye extractions!

I had a wild cherry tree fall down in my yard during a rain storm, and I decided to cook some of the fresh leaves to see what dye pigment if any they would give.  I filled a 6 qt. stockpot with leaves and added a gallon of rain water.  I brought the pot ot a boil and let it boil for 20 minutes.  I reduced the heat to simmer and let the leaves simmer in the covered pot for 1 hour.  It appeared that I had a light yellow extraction  I added a piece of copper pipe to the pot and left it to sit overnight.  The following morning, I collected some empty jars and put 100 ml of the dye extract in each jar.   The each jar I added 1/4 teaspoon of a different additive.  I first made test samples with the cold solution on white paper towelling.  Next, I heated each jar in the microwave for 1 minute and took another sample with the paper towelling.  I hung each pair side by side, labeled with the substance that had been added.  When they were dry, I snipped off a small square of the towelling and used them as samples for my Test Record.  The accompanying photo show the additive, the hot and cold samples, the date, because I want to know the time of year I obtained the pigments from the leaves.  I also made notes to myself of the procedure used.  Lastly, I remembered to take a sample of the unadulterated base color.  This sample was after 3 days in the pot,   I should have made a sample of the fresh dye extract for comparison, but I forgot.  I hope this is helpful in allaying your fears of making the Gerber tests for your pigments.  They can save you much time and worry.