Explore the possibilities of acid dyes

 Shetland wool shawl hand dyed with acid dyes and hand woven by Jo Aylwin

Shetland wool shawl hand dyed with acid dyes and hand woven by Jo Aylwin

Have fun day exploring the possibilities of acid dyes with me on 29th September..

The name acid dyes can be very off putting - it sounds toxic and unpleasant! Acid dyes are chemical dyes which use acid, normally normal vinegar, to fix them. They are prepared in chemical works and when used correctly there is no chemical waste when using them, so in many ways they are more environmentally friendly for the small scale dyer than natural dyes, for which you have to use chemical mordents and there is waste to dispose of.

Acid dyes are used for protein fibres, such as wool, silk, cashmere, feathers and fur. They are hot water dyes and care has to be taken when using them not to damage the fibre being coloured by getting them too hot or stirring them too vigorously.

 Seat cover made on commission by Jo Aylwin with the inspirational throw provided by client

Seat cover made on commission by Jo Aylwin with the inspirational throw provided by client

Acid dyes are very flexible. You can mix very precise colours which can be reproduced again and again. This is very useful if you have a specific project you want to create. The picture above show a seat cover I created for a friend. She wanted it to go with a throw she was particularly fond of, which is shown in the picture. The colours I created for the seat cover were drawn from those on the throw and dyed specifically for this project.

On the 29th you will have a chance to explore the versatility of acid dyes. We will be dying all the colours shown in the shawl above. That will be 36 colours! You will take away the 36 samples as well as an Acid Dye Kit which will have everything in that you need to continue your dying experiments.

It will be a fun and action packed day, and a light vegetarian lunch is included.