Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My First Color Wheel

I'm taking a workshop in October where I will need some tapestry yarn...' bring the primaries and some secondaries'. I thought a bit...which primaries...and which secondaries? The definitions vary all over the place. I thought a bit more and decided I would simply dye some yarn to match the ten colors on the Munsell Color Wheel. I've never dyed a color wheel before...sounded like fun. Plus, I rarely mix primaries to get the secondaries when dyeing so why not experiment.

One of my friends loaned me a pamphlet called Colour Samples for Fabric Dyeing by Susan Rex. It had most everything I needed to pull off this project.

There are a couple fabric dye triangles in the back. I used the 4% DOS dye triangle to match the best I could the color chips from my Munsell Color Wheel. The chips were generally more saturated than the dyed fabric so it was not obvious which fabric matched some of the chips. You can see the fabric samples and the chips in the photo.

I then realized this wasn't going to work too well anyway since when I dye silk with fiber reactive dyes the colors tend to shift during the dyeing process. So, I decided to do some graduated dyeing in 10% increments on small samples. I am going to create the outside of the dye triangle with my own silk yarn. In this way, I can pick the best match of my own dyed yarn samples with the Munsell color chips and dye those colors in larger amounts.

For tapestries I use one of two yarns, a silk cotton blend or 100% silk. The latter I like to use on my small Shannock and that's the loom I am bring to my workshop. Since it is 100% silk, I have some options on how to dye.

As you can see in the photo, this silk yarn is a grayish blue. I know from past experience its tough to get a good yellow with this yarn since it will push green. But I do enjoy the cast I get on the dyed colors from this yarn. I decided to do two dye triangles...one with the grayish blue yarn as is and one with the grey color stripped out. It's a bone colored yarn once the color is removed. It's not white, so the end results may be skewed. But by doing this I will have a good idea what colors I can realistically achieve.

I also had to decide which DOS -depth of shade I should go for. The Munsell Color Wheel uses the maximum chroma so the darker the better. I did a test on the turquoise primary to see what a variety of DOS's would look like. I've never tested how saturated I could make a yarn. I tested .1% to 8%. Once they are dry I can see how saturated it can get...while wet I don't see much difference after about 4%. It's good to see the turquoise took...we had some problems in the past with the dye...another reason to test.

It is real hot and dry today...not like the last two days where the fog stayed around all day and I had to wear a vest to keep warm.

It is a great day to dye so I spent half the day dyeing little samples of yarn. How many...let's see...a tad less than 40. Here they are drying- quite bright and cheerful.

And yes...there does seem to be a bit of yellow there.

1 comment:

Peg in South Carolina said...

When I first started dyeing I was so disappointed when the yarns dried--the wet colors were so very rich! As I recall the Munsell Color Wheel is a little different from the "standard" color wheel. For one thing, I think it includes shades and tones?