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Intro To The Tie-dyes

During the mid-80's I started to experiment with coloring material using different kinds of coloring media: house paint, India ink, & eventually dyes. Towards the end of the 80's I was turned on to the incredibly vibrant & permanent colors of Procion Fiber Reactive Dyes, which became my dye of choice. Since these dyes were totally colorfast & would stick around for a long time, I figured my designs should be worth having around for a long time, so my experiments became more controlled. As with all my dyework (Waxworx too) the material I start with is white & 100% Cotton (or any other natural fiber). Generally, I fold, pleat or twist the fabric a certain way for each different design (often in combinations), then rubber band it. The rubber bands usually don't leave any marks on the finished piece; they serve only to hold it together while it's being dyed. The dyes are mixed & poured into squirt bottles for maximum control during the application. I apply all the colors one at a time in the same sitting. After the fabric has been dyed, I let the piece sit (about a day) until the dyes are spent. The last step is the washing. It's important to get out all excess dye particles, so that no running or bleeding occurs later on.

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