Palette dyeing: the ability to reproduce your colors precisely

Monday night a group of us from the Houston area met at my place where I demonstrated palette dyeing in my kitchen. In a series of upcoming posts, I will go through the entire process with photographs (I haven't figured out how to make a video yet). But in the meantime, I want to show the true benefit of learning to dye this way.

I took four pieces of off-white plaid wools and one piece of white wool. The women selected the #5 value of a tomato-red color I had developed last week. Keep in mind that we are dealing with one color (tomato-red) in 8 values. I number them 1 to 8 from lightest to darkest. So in the case of #5, we are looking at a medium value of the tomato-red. I wanted to reproduce it as exactly as one can with a hand-dyed procedure.

So I got out my liquid mother solution of AD9 (the number I had given to this tomato-red dye), and I measured into the water the same amount of dye liquid that I use in my process when dyeing one piece of 6" by 16" white wool only multiplied by 5. Since I had five pieces of wool torn in the same 6" by 16" dimensions, I multiplied the amount of dye by 5. I put the pieces in the dye water in my crock pot, and the result? A perfect match!

Here is the picture of the resulting fabrics. The small piece laying crosswise in the bottom left corner is the sample I wanted to recreate. The wool it is laying on is a white piece I put in the bath to demonstrate how exact we can match the sample by using this process. The other pieces are the plaids, as they were when I started, and how they looked once AD9 #5 happened to them.

Notice how the natural color wools and the tans deepen the color slightly.