So I went to the local hardware store to get a cheap enamel pot for dyeing my fabric.
Cashier: What are you making?
Me: Oh I'm dyeing.
(Awkward silence and a concerned look from cashier)
Me: Fabric! I'm dyeing fabric! Not dying - dyeing!
Cashier: OH! Like tie-dye?
Me: Yes, sort of like tie dye. But without the tie part.
I bought a bunch of lovely acid dyes from Dharma Trading that should work for both silk & feathers, since they are both protein based. They have lots of very thorough instructions on the website, that I broke down into simpler directions because I can only read short short sentences when I am cooking. Dyeing is a bit like cooking, a crazy chemistry experiment and an elaborate art all in one steaming hot pot.
After I did all the work of paraphrasing the instructions, I realize simple instructions are on the dye containers. Now that I am the Captain of Redundancy, I am all prepared to dye. Not die. Dye.
I have a couple of projects in mind. I want to make a silk cocktail hat in a peachy pink nude color so I got:
Raspberry - ok, not sure this will help at all. It was getting toward dinner time when I ordered and Raspberries are yummy.
I have a light aqua (very similar to Tiffany Blue) straw cloche that I have blocked. So I planned to dye some silk for a sash and maybe some flowers to go on it. Or a feather pompom. Or both! Dye colors:
Why so many dye colors? Wellllllll. Just like my college chemistry classes, I don't always get expected results from cooking or dyeing. Plus I haven't actually dyed anything in... wow, it occurs to me I haven't dyed anything since college either. I will pause for a brief moment of distress on how old I am getting.
Anyhow, Dharma had great prices on dyes, so I got a lot. I also got a great deal on some silk that a friend brought back for me from India. I have silk Habotai, Crepe de Chine, Silk Velvet and a pile of feathers to work on. I even have some lovely Tussar silk, but I may save that for a special project. Since I like making my own silk flowers, I can color coordinate the hat with the flowers, or mix dyes for various effects.
So, dyeing is added to my to-do list, along with making hats and costumes for the San Jose Renaissance Faire in August. I have a lot to do before then, and a busy not-quite-two-year-old, so hopefully I am not being too ambitious.