Monday, December 6, 2010

Something different

In amongst other things I do, one of my jobs is to dye silk fabrics for future brides and their bridal parties. I work with a couple of local silk fabric shops; one in particular deals a lot with bridal and special occasion fabrics.

It is a very long time ago since I was a bride, and today's bride-to-be has a huge source of images to choose from in magazines and on the Internet. And often their dreams select a fabric of a certain colour which does not seem to be available anywhere, that is in New Zealand, or further afield.

One skill I have developed very successfully is dyeing yardage to a specific colour, and with a 100% flat colour, just like a 'bought fabric'. There has been quite a few brides and their bridal parties out there with garments made from silk fabrics which I have dyed specifically for them.

Here are my latest pieces - a heavy silk crepe on the left (shiny finish) while on the right is a silk Georgette (dull finish)which is to be made into sashes for the bridesmaids.

I have developed a reliable method of doing these fabrics and for those not familiar with such processes, it all goes by weight ie the dry fabric is weighed and the amount of dyes and chemicals are determined as to the depth of colour, and of course the colour itself which may be achieved with several mixed dye colours. I never bother to measure the length of what I am dyeing, that is not part of the equation. The fabrics above, combined, weighed in at 800 gms dry weight; the silk crepe was very heavy, but the Georgette very light. As I do this all by hand, I do have a limit of one kilogram, dry weight, as when wet this becomes very heavy. If the fabrics go above this weight I need to cut into more manageable pieces, the dressmakers are able to manipulate the garment pieces when cutting. One bridal party got their fabric in five pieces ie five dye batches, and they all matched perfectly!

1 comment:

  1. Diana you constantly take my breath away! What skill! What knowledge! What experience! Amazing! Do you have any problems with shade differences caused by different weaves or fabric finishes? What about if you need to match a cotton with a silk? That must be a headache?

    Tell us more, please.