shibori fun

On Saturday I folded one of the Shamrock Shake veils lengthwise into quarters and wrapped it diagonally around one of my new 4″ PVC poles. I made up a solution of fiber reactive dark green dye and dunked the pole in it. I used the “vat dye” approach and added soda ash to the solution and let it soak a good hour. This turned out to be more complicated than I expected, I have to add; the container I planned to use wasn’t deep enough to hold the dye bath and I had to use a bigger bucket and a larger volume for the dye bath at the last minute.

Tying on the pole was also a challenge. I could have used a few more hands, frankly! And the tension was not even on the wrapping… not that this bothers me so much, though, because I prefer the patterns not to look perfect. (Too machine-like.)

But I did get a pretty darn cool wood-grain pattern on the veil. I have a picture to post soon. I also experimented more with the red & brown dyes in low water immersion, this time reducing the amount of red dye. I got a very interesting veil I dubbed the chocolate cherry.

Luckily I took a picture of the chocolate cherry, because it sold the next day at my Bellydancing UW “trunk show”. Because I like to support the student group, I gave them a special price for that day only: $30 for any veil. Their advanced group needs veils for choreography they will be doing this semester… and I sold five veils! The peacock blue and silver solid veils, the chocolate cherry pattern, the turquoise pool, and the raspberry clouds have all gone off to dance with people. That makes me happy.

I’m going to have to think seriously again about pricing. I initially priced my veils at what seemed to be the going rate for silk veils. My dye mentor urged me to price based on the market rate, rather than using some artificially low price because I am a hobbyist and not a pro. (Which, curiously enough, is exactly the conversation people have on the bellydance boards about pricing for gigs.) But the veil market seems to be opening up — I would guess this is related to Dharma Trading’s offering pre-hemmed veils. People are offering custom veils inexpensively. (Some of them too inexpensively, in my opinion.)

The other thing I want to consider is that I really don’t like making solid veils! I don’t mind doing solid-dyeing when I want to overdye, or for a custom order, but otherwise… I just hate making solids. And it kills me that people think solids should be cheaper, when they are more boring and more work. So I’m just not going to do much of that anymore. So there. Nyahh.

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