Monday, February 2, 2009

Sky Blue Fibers - Merino, Bamboo, Hemp and Firestar!

I'm trying to fight off the urge to write something really cheesy like, "I've got the blues." Oh no, I failed. The urge won. Ugh!

Moving on.... I thought it was fun showing the bamboo and hemp in Marigold and then I realized I had both of these fibers and more in sky blue. The upper left is Merino, the upper right is Bamboo, the lower left is Hemp and the lower right is Firestar.

Two different kinds of dye were used. Plant fibers or cellulose fibers require Procion Dyes or fiber reactive dyes. "The earliest fiber reactive dyes were designed to interact with cellulose fibers, such as cotton linen and hemp. When these materials are treated with soda ash to raise their pH, the fiber reactive dye interacts with the cellulose molecules, forming a permanent bond."

The protein fiber (the wool) and the Firestar (a nylon) can be effectively dyed with acid reactive dyes. The work acid might sound a little scary, but it's just vinegar.

All four were dyed Sky blue with differing results. The most drastic difference is found in the hemp. Hemp is a woody fiber and accepts dyes much differently than the more porous fibers. The hemp looked so unlike the rest that when listed it at Wind Rose, I named it Sage Blue because I felt that the name more accurately represented the color.