Friday, October 22, 2010

Blue Corn ...Roving? ~ Dyeing Corn Fiber Part III

What I should say is, "Corn fiber dyed a pretty shade of blue!" That's right, my dyes came in for the corn fiber, so today I tried them out for the first time.

My blue came out lightly variegated, but there's not one little bit of undyed fiber. I was very careful to tease apart the fiber and make sure the dye worked its way into every bit of the roving.

There was no way for me to buy just a small sample of dye from my supplier, so I made the decision to go ahead and dye a selection of corn fiber for the shop. If this ounce is any indication, I think the colors will be beautiful. I've always liked the idea of offering a nice variety at Wind Rose Fiber Studio. Adding corn fiber to my inventory seems to follow that thinking and it also provides another vegan option.

In this three part series on corn fiber, I talked about what corn fiber is, how it's made and I tested dyeing the product with acid reactive, fiber reactive and synthetic specific dyes. For great dyeing results, there is really no substitute for using the dyes made just for synthetics.

I did however, want to test corn fiber with acid reactive and fiber reactive dyes to see what would happen if corn fiber was carded with other fibers and then dyed. What I found is that corn fiber will take some color from acid reactive dye. It will come out much lighter than wool, but could add a nice dimension to a mixed wool batt.

On the other hand, dyeing corn fiber with fiber reactive dyes just didn't work at all. The only way this might be interestingly employed, is as a resist when you want those touches of white in your work.

I think corn fiber will be an interesting addition to Wind Rose. When you want a fiber that is strong, vibrant, soft, UV resistant, machine washable, sustainable, eco-friendly and biodegradable, corn fiber may just be the perfect choice!

Over the next couple weeks, I'll be dyeing corn fiber for the shop and I'll be sure to showcase all the new colors here so you can see the roving as it's made. In the meantime, you can read all about corn fiber in the related posts listed below.

Dyeing Corn Fiber Part I
Dyeing Corn Fiber Part II


WonderWhyGal said...

What would I blend it with? How does it enhance other fibers? I'm very intrigued by corn fiber but not sure if it would be the best fit for my Alpaca.

Jenn said...

Well with your own Alpaca farm, you probably don't need any more fiber. :D It would just depend on if you like to experiment with other fibers.

I haven't spun the corn fiber yet. That's next on my list.