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Category Archives: Not so ordinaries

making my own rules, potassium permanganate

I really like the effects i get with potassium permanganate, but there’s not a lot of info available, online, or in old books, when it comes to using it with cloth. Most sites tell you how to get rid of the “stains” when you are working with it, in either metal or wood applications, but not how to keep it! I *think* we might have done something with it in the textile arts program in the early 90’s at Capilano College, but if we did, i either took few notes (usually when i wasn’t that interested!), or i threw them out in a long ago purge…….

First of all, this stuff is actually Scarey Dangerous. Yes, very, no exaggeration, in application, storage and with other chemicals. It can be explosive, toxic, mutagenic, corrosive. I cringe when i see people sticking their hands in vats with no protection, but this one in particular made me yell at someone during res who did just that. But it’s also used as an anti-fungal, an antiseptic, water purification, in garden applications, for livestock use, and in science labs for staining specimens and slides.

(Ignore the “antidote” notes on the above, and check the MSDS for the real deal.)

It’s not a “natural dye”: it’s a chemical compound. So why use it if it’s so freekybeaky? Because i like the warm browns it can give, i like the way it chases (discharges, technically) indigo, i love the effects with rust and ecoprints. Respect for what we use as dyers, whether chemical or natural, can go a long way though and i have always stressed safety first in any of my own work, and certainly when i have taught classes. So i will use it, and with pleasure! (The few sites that have had any information make me shake my head too, as they blithely swish things around with bare hands……..)

I know brown is not an exciting colour to most people, and most natural dyers are going to use walnuts, chestnut, cutch or sequoia, or combine different dyebaths with various mordants and modifiers to get brown when they do want it ๐Ÿ™‚ (And i have, and do that as well. ) You’re not going to find potassium permanganate for sale on any dye house sites though, chemical or natural. I searched through chemical suppliers, university science sites, and finally water purification shops, and bought mine at a local supplier forย  “HVAC, Water Treatment, Fluid Handling and Conservation Industries .”ย  (I’ve heard it also referred to as “Condy’s Crystals”, an archaic name for it, and supposedly available at pharmacies/”chemists”, though i suspect that’s more in the UK than anywhere nearby!) And i asked for and got the 6 page MSDS that should go with ALL chemical use. (See that first link in this post.)

Initially, it’s expensive. I just about had a bird when i called and asked about the size they had on the website (10lbs)–$169.00!!!! The gentleman on the phone said though that they did have smaller 5 lb packages, at slightly less than half of that amount. In use though, it’s cheap, cheap, CHEAP. At 1/4 to 1 TSP per litre of water, it’s going to last a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time, great Cost Per Wear!

(HA. When i picked it up, he said someone else had just called and wanted that smaller size too, something he hasn’t sold much of in a good while. Maybe another dyer?)

 

ALL “mixing” of this will be done outside in a corner of the back40, wearing gloves, respirator and safety glasses. And lest anyone think i am totally looneytunes using this potentially bombwhacko product, a lot of textile program school scenarios have a vat of it in the wet studio, and no one has reported any Incidents. ALL dyeing should be handled with respect, safety and care.

I remember there are a few other things i can do with “potperm” and cloth, so am off to refresh my memory, and make my own (SAFE) rules for use.

 

 

 

becoming a purple thread

Certainly a vanity, thinking one knows everything, but i’ve always subscribed to “Learn something new everyday, and you know you’re not dead” — i *don’t* know everything, but i do my research and i’m happy to not only do the correct thing, but to riff on that once the lesson is learned. If i need an affirmation of something i’ve done or a puzzlement needs solving, i’ll ask, but i don’t JUST ask and expect the whole answer “with 8×10 glossies and paragraphs and arrows on the back” to be handed to me on a silver platter.

I remember asking a Contextural member a long time ago how she achieved a certain shade in her natural dyeing/ecoprinting, and she sweetly and truthfully replied “Every dyer has her secrets” with no smugness, and in all honesty. I took that to heart, learning what i could and often failing because i didn’t follow the basics first.

I’ve got that part well sussed now, and am quietly thrilled with the tried and true, and the experimenting. All of this past week’s naturally dyed threads here have notes on each as to what it is, but you’ll have to figure out certain parts for yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

And the details in close-up:

Where these threads go next will be “the long white gown”,ย  metaphorically speaking.

 

moan

Now i HAVE to learn to work with silk.

 

res starts today

Three months this time, lots of fabulous fabrics to create, and lots of stitching planned.

Previous years:

 

Thread SCORE!

I restrained myself, and spent 80bucks, half of what they are worth, because the poor man is trying to clear his departed wife’s stash in this estate sale.

A Valdani “Collection” (12 balls ofย  3ply embroidery floss), 10 DMC perles in #8 and #5, Caron Wildflowers in colourways i haven’t seen before, a couple of delicious mystery brands, and that solid DMC greeny bit because it reminds me of wasabi mustard.

This was a drop in the bucket. The woman had, i kid you not, about 5000 times as much thread, in boxes, cases, hatboxes, worm binder thingies, bags, storage carry cases and more. I kid you not. Seriously. I’d have taken more, but i fight with linen threads, the silks were too fine, and the solid DMC’s are readily available anywhere.

And he gave me this:

The legs have zipped openings as well. I’ll be quite stylish carrying this one ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Jam Day, Not so ordinaries

 

HAUL!!!

Attended the UjaamaGrammas big sale yesterday with my friend Susan—–kind of shocking to see all the stash that has been handed off to others!!!!!!!! BOLTS of fabric, bags of fabric, piles of yardages of fabrics, grab bags of fabric, a quilting cottons room, umpteen “kits” never touched, a long wall FULL of yarns, a room full of patterns, books and magazines. Admittedly, i had donated 3 huge garbage bags full of my stash! The place was wall to wall people, but apparently we came at the right time, because even though it had “opened” the night before, it was still crammed with stuff. Some years, there have been block long lines waiting to get in!

And admittedly too, i brought 3 ( much smaller) bags home ๐Ÿ™‚ I deliberately took “only” 75 bucks with me in cash (though they did accept debit and credit cards). I spent 5bucks for two “tapestry” frames, a buck for a bag full of “crochet cotton balls” most for dyeing, a dollar for 4 books, 22dollars for 22YARDS of fabric (most for dyeing, though there are also a couple of chunks for fall wardrobe purposes), 2bucks for admission, and i donated 6, because WTH. Grand total: 37 smackeroos.

And Susan generously gave me the two longer that she had got last year ๐Ÿ™‚

The largest frame is the PERFECT size so that i can finally do the standing figure for “Tabula Memoria”, without struggling to keep the grain straight–my largest hoop would have necessitated moving the fabric in and out of the grip, and that would have meant the grain would surely have been off on the damned haremcloth. (Love AND hate that stuff!)

The minute i got home, all of the fabrics went into the washer.

Silk A FREEKIN’ DOLLA A YARD, five yards, this one will be thioxed gently to remove some colour:

Cottons for dyeing, naturally and not ;):

The top piece is my favoured cotton flannellette, used for stabilizing all of my work, *as i work it. Sometimes more expensive than the dyeable cottons!!

The wardrobe pile:

The blue piece is the only piece that we mis-identified–we thought it was a sueded silk, but alas, it’s polyester.ย  That being said, it will be great for binding edges and slivers of detail. The yellow rayon may possibly be overdyed with indigo. The top fabric, also a rayon, will have some of the motifs embellished and accented somehow, and/or overdyed.

Threads to dye:

Some of these are quite quite fine, which means they’re going to be great for dyeing in variegation, and possibly plying together in one needle. The black is actually a slippery fine rayon. (I could have stuffed probably 10 bags with these threads as they were a dollar a stuffed bag, but space is a premium in the stoodio, so restrained myself!)

The books:

Now, i recently got rid of half of my library, so these will probably be passed on in a short while to someone! The *only* reason i bought the Rosemary Eichorn book was because when i had my wearable art business in the 90’s, i COVETED it desperately!

It was funny too, to suddenly reach exclaiming about a certain fabric and then realizing as i touched it, that i had donated it–it stayed! Didn’t see anything else i had gotten rid of, so i guess someone fell in love with the rest of it–ha!

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 23, 2017 in Jam Day, Not so ordinaries

 

perfect perfect light

This is the time of day when light bends and flows, softens the rougher hand, the harder heart.

This is the day of time blinking out of illusion and desire, to touch hand to heart.

Time flickering, day febrile and lustrous, heart flutters and hand trembles.

I will give you the time of day.