vashti the velocity vendor

I found out with fairly little notice that I’d have a veil vending opportunity tonight at the UW Bellydance Club — M is taking a stack of on-consignment Dahlal hip scarves down for the newbies to freak out over, so I’ll take a chance and see if I can’t sell one or two veils.

I did exactly what I said I wouldn’t do, and branched out into acid dyes. If you want to do low water immersion dyeing on silk, you can’t really use acid dyes. To set multicolored acid dyes on silk requires a steamer, home-made or otherwise, and I just don’t want to go there yet. However, it’s great for pot-dyeing on the stove. So I bought a few small containers of acid dye powder and proceeded to experiment. I dyed two veils a crimson red. One I left a solid color. The other I wrapped onto a piping cord and bound up with crochet cotton. Then I overdyed this black. (I threw in a veil to dye solid black while I was at it.)

The shibori-wrapped veil turned out pretty cool! It has kind of a snakeskin feel to it with the black and red patterns. I should have tied the resist cords a lot tighter, though… I was wishing for more red. On the other hand, the black is indeed super duper black. Because everyone always says to use a LOT of black dye, I used the whole jar. I probably only needed to use half… that’s what I’ll try next time. Jacquard Acid Dyes are really weirdly priced — the little jars come out to a price of $8/oz, while the bigger quantities cost about $1/oz! Bizarre. I can see I should learn to mix my own shades and just buy the bigger tubs of the primaries and black.

I’ve decided to sell the solid veils for $35. This is about right considering the prices I find on the internet. Odds are good I can sell quite a few solids, as well, which will help finance the fancier work. I really want to find out more about arashi shibori. I’ve got “the classic book” on my hold list from the library, and I’ve found myself a sale-priced edition of Karen Brito’s book from Powell’s, but I would sure love to find a class.


Woo-hoo! Sold two $40 veils — one the pretty green one I made up specially for Eclectica Market — never even took a photo of it by itself. The other was the Ice Storm I dyed long-ago last January. I’m so glad it found a home… people always picked it up, and put it back. Funny, though, my favorite from that batch has never sold!

And the adorable MM is thinking about the skirt silk /veil combo, which I take as a huge compliment since I know she has taste. (But no money, poor penniless student lass. The UWBD club needs an incredible rich benefactress to buy all the club ladies yards and yards of silk. Don’t you think?)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. PBurch
    Mar 23, 2007 @ 00:11:00

    To set multicolored acid dyes on silk requires a steamer, home-made or otherwise, and I just don’t want to go there yet.What you could do is to use acid dyes for LWI: jam the vinegar-soaked silk into an inner container, such as a mason jar, pour dyes into the jar on the silk, then place the jar on a small rack inside your pot of boiling water (or in a covered pot with water boiling in the bottom of the pan so that steam gets up and into the inner container). The boiling water or steam would set your acid dyes without diluting them.-Paula Burch

  2. Vashti
    Mar 23, 2007 @ 15:09:00

    Thanks, Paula. I have obviously underestimated the field of home canning as a set of techniques for dye work!

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