As a Textile and fiber artist, colour is an essential ingredient in my work. This post is about dyeing your own materials, specifically exploring dyeing by hand. Even though natural dyeing with onion skins, walnuts or even avocado skins can bring plenty of color range, I mostly choose for synthetic coloring which covers plant and animal fibers equally well. I used to always get my dyes directly from a factory in Łódź (a Walhalla for the polish textile industry) nowadays there are multiple online webshops offering good dyes for your textiles.
The basis of my artworks is all about building forms and shapes, which combined, create larger installations. Therefor before I even begin building, the first thing I do is create the first test swatches.
I always strive to achieve a natural and full color substance for my fibers that can vary from gentle watercolours to the more extreme maximum rough and saturated ones.
Even the variations one can achieve within a single colour are worth the extra labor of dyeing by hand, not to mention you can achieve various results or batches from a single bath. You will also need to experiment with making multiple batches as the results can be unpredictable at times.
Lastly, dyeing by hand not only allows you to achieve these effects with an impressive range in colour variations, nearly every creative textile artist I’ve met finds this the most fascinating way of dyeing one's’ own fabrics.