Tuesday, February 14, 2023

A quick post on color

Most first time dyers choose colors based on the array of choices on the display. Dye companies have sample sheets at the store and online for choosing, but out of the 20+ colors, which should you choose? 

Here are some suggestions for choosing your first colors to dye with:

The simplest choice - go with your favorite color to wear, and choose the dye color on the sheet that’s closest. Stick with one color dyeing and you will be sure to like it. 
The best thing about one-color dyeing is you have a target color and don’t have to make any other decisions and you don’t have to do any complicated mixing. 

Layered colors on fleece

But if you don't have a preset idea and want to experiment, layering color has the benefit of surprise and complexity, and is easy to do with this dye process. 

Layering the color means adding 2-3 dyes at the same time, without mixing them first.  There will be suggestions in the next post for how to apply the dyes, but first, you have to choose which colors. 
My main suggestion is to choose two and no more than three colors that all look good with each other.

The confident choice: choose two primary colors (red, blue, yellow), knowing that the color they make when they mix will also be a pure bright color. For example, a red and a blue will also have purple, a blue and a yellow will always make green. 

The stylish choice - Use a color wheel and choose adjacent colors - Choose a color and a color right next to it and the close relationship will have a nice effect together, like turquoise and blue, red and purple. 

The Goth choice: Black adds complexity to a pure color, making shades of that pure color, darker, grayer, subtler versions. Choose Black and one or two brighter colors. 

The adventurous choice: Throw all of the above out the door and use whatever colors call out to you. Remember that mixing any colors that are not primaries will reduce the color saturation, and give you grays. Mixing complementary colors will give you browns. Gorgeous grays and browns, and complex mixes in many cases, but be sure you are ready for sometimes good and sometimes disappointing results. 

If you are dyeing 4 ounces of fiber, then, you will need 250ml of dye in total (following the Tiny Bathroom dye series format) so you can break that amount in half, for two colors (125ml + 125ml), or thirds for three (about 85ml each) or any other combination that adds up to 250. 

The previous post covered mixing up powder dyes so check that out if you haven't already. The next post Dyeing Yarn in a Tiny Bathroom will be coming out within the week. 

Have fun!

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