Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Merino Roving Dyed in Skin Tones

About a week ago I told a customer that I would try to dye a nice skin tone for her. The offer evolved into me declaring this week "Skin Tone Dyeing Week" at my store. After all, how can you stop at just one skin tone?

I started first thing this morning. Every lot I dyed seem to lead into the next. A little more brown, a little more peach, less yellow, more yellow, olive base.... after about a pound, I realized this could be a life long project and I still wouldn't be able to produce all of the shades of the human skin.

I had to focus on my goal of providing felters some good general colors to use for skin tones. I was hoping on coming up with at least three good ones, and I think I may have come up with a couple more than that. I tend to be a free spirited dyer, but today I kept notes and used a very specific and calculated dye method. I wanted to be sure that I could reproduce any successful dyes.

I dyed a total of 2 pounds today in 1 ounce lengths. I also dyed a piece of firestar to go with each as I always give away a complimentary piece of Firestar with each purchase of 1 oz roving. I created a make shift clothesline in my back yard to hang the roving out to dry. It's a windy day here in Arizona and the drying process has been a speedy one. I got the idea to take a few pictures when I had several batches hanging up. It was a pretty fun spectacle. It reminded me of pantyhose hanging on the shower curtain bar.

Tomorrow these rovings will be photographed and listed for sale. I hope I have developed some colors that will please the felting crowd. As a spinner, I find them really appealing. They are so soft and natural looking and as they have all been produced from the same base colors, they would blend wonderfully. If they are well received, they'll become staple products in my studio. Wish them luck!