HandmadebyClaireBear

confessions of a fabric obsessive

Tag Archives: Laundry

I’ve been dyeing…

…but only a little bit.

Ages ago I rescued an old wooden clothes airer. I stripped off the disintegrating webbing “hinges” so that I could clean up the wooden frames, replace the webbing and have a new clothes airer. Simple job, you might think, but I wanted the new webbing hinges to be pink (I had to make it complicated!).

Can you buy pink cotton webbing? Not online, and not in the shops.

I already had white cotton webbing, so I thought, “Ah, I’ll get a pack of pink dye and dye some of the white webbing pink”. In theory it should have been easy, just follow the instructions and I’ll have some great colour webbing. While I’m at it, I could drop in a few other white cotton things and have them bright pink as well.

When I was a teenager I used to dye fabric  (mostly t- shirts and jeans) quite often. Mum wouldn’t let me dye them in the washing machine, so I got to be a dab hand at dyeing by hand.

Cotton absorbs dye really easily and takes the colour quite strongly: most synthetic fibres don’t.

This is the colour of the dye I bought, flamingo pink. (I don’t do things by halves. If I’m having pink, I’m having bright pink!)

According to the instructions, one pack would dye up to 250g of cotton to the full colour, so I worked through my stash, picking out cotton trimming and cotton fabric to make up to the 250g weight limit.

I followed the instructions, stirred and stirred for the first 15 minutes, and then every now and again for an hour.

This is what I got:

See that pale pink wide webbing at the back? I was sold that as 100% cotton. Needless to say, it isn’t. If it had been it would now be the same colour as the narrower stuff.

There’s another length of white tape (not in the photo) that is still white. I was sold that as 100% cotton too. It’s so white after the full time in the dye solution, it can’t possibly have any cotton in it at all. In fact it’s so incredibly day-glo white that I didn’t even put it in the photo.

Cross isn’t the word. Well actually cross is the word, along with very.

Having paid a premium for 100% cotton, I find out that it’s actually less than 50% (in the case of the wide) and  0% cotton (in the case of the un-photographed).

Then I panicked that the twill tape that I am selling on Ebay and Etsy at the moment might not be cotton after all, so I dropped some in the used dye solution just to check. It’s fine, it didn’t take up as much colour in the same time as the 100% cotton tape in the first batch, but it did colour up and I’m satisfied that what I’m selling as cotton is cotton. Phew!

I’m not going to go into dyeing as an extension of my sewing (with natural dyes or tie-dyeing), but it is nice to know that I can still do it fairly easily, and that if I really want a colour that I can’t buy anywhere dyeing it myself will be fairly simple (although I did google “hand-dyeing” for this post and found some really interesting blogs and started following Nancy Guchte’s hand-dyeing board on Pinterest and Wild Onion‘s blog).

Back to my clothes airer refurb. Almost finished but I need to hammer the tacks in and it’s too late (I’m writing this in the wee small hours of Thursday night, as usual for a Friday post) because my neighbours need their sleep.

I’m glad I took the time and effort to dye the webbing pink for the hinges. It looks exactly how I wanted it too. It will be displaying some of my quilts, eventually, as well as my laundry!

Happy Claire Bear

WIPs this Wednesday

So, usually I would be posting about my WIPS (aka, my to-finish list) today, but it’s been a busy week.

I’ve Mr CB and I have been disassembling both of the kingsize beds that are both broken, to replace them with a 6 foot bed (think two single/twin beds side by side) that I got from Ebay for me, and a futon sofa that pulls out to just about take a 5 ft wide mattress for my son (who had the other kingsize on account of he’s too tall for a normal double or single bed).

This has taken a while to pull everything apart, dispose of it all, vacuum up the dust and put everything (the new ones)  together. While there was no bed in my son’s old room, I took advantage of the space to rip down some old paint that had bubbled when we had a leak from the shower in the room above, and repaint (it now looks perfect). Plus we visited a friend who is recovering from surgery to remove an embolism, and squeezed in a lightening quick visit to my sister’s as she is about to pop with her 2nd child any minute (my 2nd niece, I also have 3 nephews).

Needless to say, with my son coming home from Uni today and my daughter coming home this weekend, I needed to clear out some space for them to sleep. Especially as we have been clearing out the contents of the loft into my daughter’s old room to make ready for the loft insulation guys coming  next week.

A bit busy, so I haven’t had a chance to keep track of my WIPs.

Normal service will be resumed on Friday, in the meantime here is a post from about 6 months ago (I think)

Look, actual sunshine in the photo! By the way, the bag that I mention below, is still on my to-do list

Have a good week

Claire Bear

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A STACK OF IRONING

I shopped and I washed and I hung it out to dry, and the weather was still sunny, so I thought “I’ll take some photos, so I have a visual record of what I bought, not just a written description and a load of receipts.”

lots of pretty colours, and some plants that might not have survived the winter

Can you see my obsession fascination with colour?

I mean, who stacks their ironing in colour order like this?

I see this and I think “There’s a lot of pinkness in there and quite a lot of blue as well”. I love the dark purply-pinks. I have a few friends who are very into teals and turquoises, so I guess I bought it all with them (and me) in mind really.

Not all of it’s destined to be flowers and brooches and little pretty things.  Some of it (you see that mix of spring-type colour there in the pile on the right, and the green check bottom left, and maybe that deep blue with the splash of green in the middle ?) is going to be tote-style shopping bags that fold away into a little self-contained pouch to put in your pocket or handbag, all ready for when you buy stuff and don’t want those boring and ugly plastic carriers cutting into your hand.

I need a shopping bag that has a handle that’s long enough to go over my shoulder if I want, but short enough that I can carry it in my hand if I need without it catching on the ground. I need a shopping bag that isn’t only good for shopping. I want a shopping bag that doesn’t look like a shopping bag, I want one that looks good and colourful and makes people say “I love that bag, where did you get it?”.

I mostly make things with myself or close friends and family in mind.

If you see anything you like, message me and I’ll make something with you in mind too.

Thanks for popping in.

A stack of ironing

So, more about that fabric I talked about last post.

I shopped and I washed and I hung it out to dry, and the weather was still sunny, so I thought “I’ll take some photos, so I have a visual record of what I bought, not just a written description and a load of receipts.”

lots of pretty colours, and some plants that might not have survived the winter

Can you see my obsession fascination with colour?

I mean, who stacks their ironing in colour order like this?

I see this and I think “There’s a lot of pinkness in there and quite a lot of blue as well”. I love the dark purply-pinks. I have a few friends who are very into teals and turquoises, so I guess I bought it all with them (and me) in mind really.

Not all of it’s destined to be flowers and brooches and little pretty things.  Some of it (you see that mix of spring-type colour there in the pile on the right, and the green check bottom left, and maybe that deep blue with the splash of green in the middle ?) is going to be tote-style shopping bags that fold away into a little self-contained pouch to put in your pocket or handbag, all ready for when you buy stuff and don’t want those boring and ugly plastic carriers cutting into your hand.

I need a shopping bag that has a handle that’s long enough to go over my shoulder if I want, but short enough that I can carry it in my hand if I need without it catching on the ground. I need a shopping bag that isn’t only good for shopping. I want a shopping bag that doesn’t look like a shopping bag, I want one that looks good and colourful and makes people say “I love that bag, where did you get it?”.

I mostly make things with myself or close friends and family in mind.

If you see anything you like, message me and I’ll make something with you in mind too.

Thanks for popping in.

See you again next weekend?

Claire Bear

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