Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Special Request Gradation Dyeing

Elizabeth’s mother, Barbara, requested some fuchsia fabric dyed in a gradation for a class she and a friend planned on taking but then Barbara got sick, had to go to the hospital and missed the class. Her friend, however, was still able to take the class.  Since she had fresh fuchsia dye from both Pro Chemical and Dye Company and Dharma Trading Company, Elizabeth decided to make a batch of both and then compare them.  The Pro Chemical test was an 8 step gradation while the Dharma was a 10 step so you can discount the last two from the Dharma stack for a true 8 step gradation.
 Above, Dharma 10 step gradation.  Below, ProChem 8 step gradation.
To make the gradation Elizabeth used 2 Tbsp of dye to 2 cups of water then measured out one cup of the dye mix in which she put a fat quarter of fabric.  After adding one new cup of water to the left over cup of dye mix she stirred it together and then poured out a cup of dye to put the second fat quarter in.  Add another cup of water and then measure out a cup to put in the next piece of fabric and so on and so on.  Basically, with each step you are taking out half the dye and adding an equal amount of water.
Enough fabric was left to try a different dye and this batch was from Pro Chemical and Dye using a dye called Rosebud.  Rosebud dye is a mixture dye and definitely has a bit of an orange tinge to it.  The photo below shows the rosebud dye.
We aren’t sure which packet(s) Barbara’s friend Marsha ended up pulling her fabric from but here is what she had at the end of the two day session.  Isn’t it spectacular?  Marsha did a fantastic job.  Her next step is adding in some thread painting.  How thrilling to see fabric you created used to create such a gorgeous piece!


  1. I'm sorry Barbara was ill and couldn't attend her class. That is always so disappointing. Thank you for sharing your work on the graduated dying. That and the picture of the completed project are beautiful. Is it possible to find out who taught the class that produced the flower? Marsha's work is stunning.

  2. The class was taught by Melinda Bula. You can find out more about her, see her stunnning gallery of photos and perhaps invite her to teach to a group which you belong to by checking here: