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Corey Skriletz




Location: United States
Joined: 27 May 2011

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Thu 26 Sep, 2013 11:37 pm    Post subject: How to color wool without it shrinking.         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I recently made a sleeved surcoat out of tan wool broadcloth. I want to dye it in heraldic colors (or possibly just black if I decide I want to make it a Hospitaller garment), but I don't want to take a chance of it shrinking. That being said, I fear conventional dyeing (involving stirring it in a vat of dye) may cause it to shrink. Is it possible color it some other way? For instance, how would the checkered pattern on the surcoat in this picture be achieved?

http://shsworldhistory.wikispaces.com/file/vi...es_-05.jpg

For such a task would painting be involved?

Here is a picture of the garment I'm trying to color.

Thank you, everyone.



 Attachment: 152.97 KB
DSC07314 (640x400).jpg

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Henrik Granlid




Location: Sweden
Joined: 17 Apr 2012

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Fri 27 Sep, 2013 1:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you pre-shrunk it before sowing?
Usually the best way of dying fabric is to do it before you cut it up and sow it.
The vat is only a good idea if the water isn't above 30 degrees centigrade.
And the chequered pattern is most likely done by weaving two different coloured fabrics together when the cheques are that small, i.e. You cut strips of white and red and then you weave them together and fasten them in eachother. If you want large cheques, you can cut diamonds from a fabric and sew them together one by one.


Long and shory of it is that it's gonna be really hard to dye a wool-fabric tunic that isn't allowed to shrink, get wool cloth in the colours you want next time. Hope somebody else got better advice than I do.
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Fri 27 Sep, 2013 3:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can by cold water powder dyes (like these from Dylon for example http://www.dylon.co.uk/product.php?alias=indu...-dye-500g) which won't lead to shrinkage.

But for natural dyeing, Henrik's right, dye before you cut and sew.

Or, even better, dye before you weave, as that is how the chequed fabric would have been made; woven on the loom using threads of two different colours (not woven from strips of fabric as Henrik suggested).

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Corey Skriletz




Location: United States
Joined: 27 May 2011

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Mon 30 Sep, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, gentlemen, for the advice.

Originally I wasn't going to dye it at all. It was initially intended to be a monk's robe, but I didn't have enough material and when I tried it on, I realized it was too tight around the legs, and a slit had to be cut in the front and back to make it easier to move around in. By that point, I realized it was starting to look more like an early sleeved-surcoat than a robe. The reason I brought up the checkered pattern was because I thought they used some sort of paint-on dye for that, that I could have used for mine. Now that I know they weave it like that, I have even more respect for people who are able to achieve that pattern!

Well even if it does shrink it should still fit me...only more snug. Last time I tried to dye something black, it came out purple, any idea what I might have done wrong for that to happen?

Thanks again.
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Tristan Gillies




Location: Queensland, Australia
Joined: 06 Jul 2009

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue 01 Oct, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm no expert so I'm just giving my opinion.

Any wool I'm working with I shrink the stock fabric by washing in cold water a couple of times so when its all made I know the fabric isn't not going to shrink any further. Plus its good cause with some wear it eases out the wool and there's a bit of a break in period.

Black dying going purple, my only reasoning if its white (or natural) wool/linen there could be residual bleach in the fabric. Which is why its good to wash out a few times with cheap laundry powder then once with no powder. That's just my theory though.
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Henrik Granlid




Location: Sweden
Joined: 17 Apr 2012

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct, 2013 12:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Black isn't the most common early historical colour, because it's hard to achieve.
I'd say go for red, green, yellow or blue, all of them common colours in the 12th century and onward
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct, 2013 2:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik Granlid wrote:
Black isn't the most common early historical colour, because it's hard to achieve.
I'd say go for red, green, yellow or blue, all of them common colours in the 12th century and onward


I'd agree, with the addition of brown and grey from natural wool colours.

And, of course, over-dyeing is possible, to combine colours to give a new colour.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct, 2013 4:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Corey Skriletz wrote:



. Last time I tried to dye something black, it came out purple, any idea what I might have done wrong for that to happen?

Thanks again.


As already mentioned, black is hard to achieve. Some modern blacks are made of several different coloured dyes combined, so if the one you tried was one of those, maybe some of the colours 'took' better than some of the others, leaving you with the purple. Just a thought.
Geoff
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Corey Skriletz




Location: United States
Joined: 27 May 2011

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Black isn't the most common early historical colour, because it's hard to achieve.
I'd say go for red, green, yellow or blue, all of them common colours in the 12th century and onward


I had been thinking of making it my heraldic colors, but since it's too late to make it multiple colors, I have to go with a single colored garment. So I thought I would go with a Hospitaller's surcoat instead. From what I understand, they wore black surcoats with a white cross. Or is it more likely that they were really just a very dark brown?

Quote:

As already mentioned, black is hard to achieve. Some modern blacks are made of several different coloured dyes combined, so if the one you tried was one of those, maybe some of the colours 'took' better than some of the others, leaving you with the purple. Just a thought.
Geoff


That could well be. I did get it from Joann's and my luck with their products hasn't been terribly good.

Quote:

And, of course, over-dyeing is possible, to combine colours to give a new colour.


What does over-dyeing entail? Using too much of the packet of dye? Leaving it in the vat too long?

Thanks again, everybody, for your help.
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct, 2013 12:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Corey Skriletz wrote:

What does over-dyeing entail? Using too much of the packet of dye? Leaving it in the vat too long?


Over-dyeing is when you dye a garment with one colour and then another. So, a garment dyed yellow can then be over-dyed with red to produce orange shades, yellow over-dyed with blue will produce greens etc...

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Corey Skriletz




Location: United States
Joined: 27 May 2011

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct, 2013 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Corey Skriletz wrote:

What does over-dyeing entail? Using too much of the packet of dye? Leaving it in the vat too long?


Over-dyeing is when you dye a garment with one colour and then another. So, a garment dyed yellow can then be over-dyed with red to produce orange shades, yellow over-dyed with blue will produce greens etc...



Oh I see. Thank you.
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