Hubby has encouraged me to start dyeing bigger batches of tatting thread, partly to cut down on my workload and partly because I want my stock to be as reliable as possible in case someone runs out of a color and needs a new skein or two pronto...like my dear friend Diane.
I had to upgrade and purchase special equipment to handle the larger batches. It is nerve-racking to dye in big batches because you are putting yourself at risk of ruining the whole batch and losing a lot of time and money. But the time has come to jump into the deep end of the pool.
As I previously stated, I am going back and re-dyeing favorite colorways in silk.
My first big batch is "FUCHSIA". I dyed a lot of this in silk, including the new silks that I would reccomend for exhibition and/or heirloom pieces.
Here are super duper close up pictures so that you can see the quality of the threads yourself.
Cotton 6 cord threads
Silk, 3,4 and 6 cord threads
To all my "Here be Tatters" friends. I check in and read what everyone is up to nearly everyday. I guess you can call me a "lurker". The format of Yahoo Groups message boards are quite overwhelming for me, so I very rarely leave comments.
There has been a lot of discussion of late about hand dyeing threads. I never want to discourage anyone from experimenting, but perhaps I can save you a bit of pain and heartache with this post.
Marilee a.k.a "Yarnplayer" has very generously posted directions on her site about how she hand dyes thread.
My methods are quite similar to hers. I started hand dyeing threads because it was a natural progression for me. I already had much of the equipment required in my pottery studio and I have years of experience working with chemicals, so I am well versed in the rules of safety.
When I read some of the methods some people are trying I developed a few concerns, such as; will the threads be colorfast? Or will those baby booties you tatted end up staining babies feet, or that bookmark staining someones book. This is well within the realm of possiblities.
Also, it is a must to keep all dyeing well away from the kitchen area. Ideally you wouldn't even use the same sink that is in your kitchen. Like Marilee, I wear gloves and a face mask. I have a special room set up just for dyeing. I invested a great deal of money into dyes, threads and other necessary equipment, and finally I did lot's and lot's of research before I ever started.
Also, what is the point of dyeing crappy threads, (those not ideal for tatting)? That would be like painting over rotting wood. It is important to start with a good foundation, and if you don't want to waste your time, you will start with the best quality thread you can buy.
This is not meant to discourage anyone from giving it a good go....but rather help save some serious frustration. There is a ton of good information on the net and just a small amount of research will help immensely.
And lastly, I think there is a misconception that hand dyeing thread is just a willy nilly breeze of a thing to do. I assure you, there is a lot more effort put into HDT than you would imagine.
That's just my two cents....