Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Bovine Fiber Protein Chromatography*

(*lab speak for Yarn Dyeing)

Using Jacquard "Yellow Sun", "Cherry Red", and "Sky Blue" we began by making 2% stock solutions. The dyes weren't going into solution very well, even though we started with a small volume paste and diluted into the total volume (as suggested by The Dyer's Companion). We couldn't figure out if the stock solutions should be clear or cloudy. The Jacquard company website suggests adding a little bit of alcohol. That seemed to help a little bit, but not completely. Since heat is used to set the protein to the fiber, i didn't know how much we could heat it to help it dissolve. we decided to go ahead with it even though it wasn't completely dissolved.

the colors looked pretty washed out when we first saw them, so here are kat and trista testing the color with kimwipes and the microwave. (it really does develop and intensify when it sets!)
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Even though i had set out with every intention of keeping track of dilutions, writing down formulas, doing things "the right way"... i just couldn't wrap my head around the formula's given in the companion. it was getting late, and my usual lack of planning prevailed: we decided to just dilute the concentrated stock solutions and mix colors to what we thought we wanted and see what we got. oh so scientific like. heh. a bit more tweaking and we were off.

Trista started off by testing out a very cool progression from blue to green,
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each color is a 1:10 dilution of our stock solutions. 100% blue, then 25% green/75% blue, 75% green/25% blue, then stock green.

Kat set out ot make some more Faery goodness yarn, in the same vein as her kool-aid dyed skein:
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I tried very hard (and yet failed) at making a good Turquoise.
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We set the colors by steaming for 20 minutes. I took the skeins home and spun them out in the washing machine.
This morning we had these lovelies:
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The colors are all way more vibrant than my sickly morning lit living room can display. they are GORGEOUS!!

The one quirk that want to work out tonight: the dye didn't take evenly throughout the yarn. There are splotches of very deep color randomly mixed in. It may be because the powder wasn't completely dissolved. We did soak the yarn in soapy water before painting it. The book suggests adding Sodium Chloride to spread the dye and help the yarn take it up evenly, so i'll try that next time.


At 3/16/2005 4:10 PM, Blogger Mac said...

With the Jacquard, did you have to use anything to set the color other than the microwave?

At 3/16/2005 5:29 PM, Blogger Dharia said...

Mac -

Yes, they need acid of some type for the dye to bond with the fiber. We used acetic acid ('cause it was the lab...), but vinegar and citric acid also work well.

and we set it by steaming in a water bath. i didn't want to risk felting by doing it in the microwave (you don't want the liquid to get above boiling)

At 3/17/2005 8:49 AM, Blogger Kat said...

My friend Rachel is in total lust of the orange skein Trista and I did. She wants to buy it. How much were you planning on charging?


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