alas poor butterfly

Well, the technique I planned to use to create the mourning cloak butterfly – inspired veil is not going to work. I intended to use a shibori “capping” method to protect circular/oval areas of the veil, but the best way to draw up these areas accurately is by using a running stitch around them and pulling them up. I tried this on a sample of my veil fabric… while I was able to protect the area as planned, pulling up the stitches on that featherweight fabric damaged it considerably! Despite using quite a fine thread, there were obvious holes left behind. Yuck. So much for that plan.

I also played around more with the Colorhue dyes today, trying to see if I could get a reasonable black on silk. Their initial recommendation was 12-15 drops in a half cup of water. This turned out to be about 1/4t. For black I tried 1/2t, which gave me a sort of dark gray/blue color. I doubled again to 1 t. Still not a very black black — a pleasant very dark blue/gray, but just not black. Now, supposing that I need to immerse a whole veil… that would probably take at least four cups of water at a bare minimum… with a little math that means 8t of the black dye would be needed to obtain a not quite black color. That’s about 1 1/4 ounces per black dye bath.

Did I mention that the Colorhue dye is $30 for 8 ounces?

I believe I’ll just be using up the rest of my sample set. It was a lovely idea, having an “instant” dye that requires no heat on silk, but… it just doesn’t work quite well enough.

(And, incidentally, DO NOT SPILL this dye on anything you care about. It’s very very hard to clean up.)

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