The Heavy Metal Matador (rydain) wrote,
The Heavy Metal Matador

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Things I learned about gradient dyeing today

The mood is partially due to the nice long run I took. I was out for almost an hour and must have gone over three miles. This includes going up a long-ass hill without any sort of break. I had to take an occasional short walking break when something or other started acting up, but my lower body behaved quite well overall. I only went home because I was getting very sluggish. Those "umpty bazillion walking lunges with weight held overhead" conditioning workouts I'm fond of have done wonders for my flexibility and lower body stamina.

I'm not photographing this because it's rather ugly, but it was productive and educational. I learned the following:

- Capillary wicking doesn't work on medium weight cotton twill because liquid just doesn't tend to spread.
- Repeated dipping does work well. For best results, use a container that you can freely and easily dunk the piece into up to where it needs to be dunked. I used a plastic cup, and my strip got stuck while being dunked and the top of the gradient is messy. Like I said, this was a test, so it's all good. Also, mix the lightest end of the gradient VERY gradually. I put 1/6 of my total dye concentration in each time, and the top doesn't fade away neatly into the undyed material. In the future, I'll set aside the first fraction and add it to the dye bath a few sprinkles at a time.
- That cape may be difficult to dunk, so I might be best off spraying it again. Sigh. However, the spray method will probably work damned well if I add dye to the bottle very gradually and treat it like a repeated dipping dye job. I got a mister at the beauty supply store, and that should work better than the spray bottle I'd used before. At least the Rikku scarf is quite dunkable. meanjunglist, I'll dye it after I have my technique perfected. And post pics. Yay.

Sometime this week, I will test repeated dipping with more gradual mixing and a larger container. I will also test the new and improved spray method. Hopefully the results will be photogenic. ^_^
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