trade secrets

A fellow (or rival, whichever) dyer of dance veils posted in a list today that she could dye a veil in an “old gold” color with a dark blue edge, with “flames” of the dark blue rising up into the old gold. I posted back that I would be curious to hear how she accomplishes this without getting green where the two meet, and she responded (humorously) that if she told me, she’d have to kill me.

Where, after all, does one draw the line? Paula Burch has an incredible website full of info for fabric dyers… did she make a list of some type and say: these things I will not divulge? Karen Brito of Entwinements, surely one of the best-known American shibori artists today, actually posted a photo tutorial of exactly how she makes her incredible pleated scarves. Could I make one based on her instructions, given the right material? Well, I could make… something. It sure wouldn’t look like hers. I haven’t got her incredible color sense or inspiration. That’s obviously something you can’t get by reading a web page.

If my rival/fellow dyer wishes to not share information with me, of course it’s her right to do so. But it seems a bit much to withhold something that’s probably just a mechanical technique, unless it’s some deep secret she learned from a mentor. I guess I feel a little skeptical about it! I want to see one finished, because I don’t know how you’d do this with dye. If you are painting, then sure, because you can put a resist between the colors. But dyeing? Seems to me there’s gonna be some green in there somewhere.

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