Saturday, June 17, 2006

How I dyed my cane

Using 2.75mm coil of Hamburg cane in the photo below. (these instructions are for an entire coil of the Hamburg cane.)

Take a kettle that will hold 1 gal. of warm water. If you use a deep, narrow kettle, a little larger than the uncoiled cane, 1 gal, of warm water will cover the entire coil.

There can't be any finish on the material to prevent the dye from seeping in. Natural commercial cane will not dye, so it is necessary to use the Hamburg or Bleached Cane for dying.

1. Determine the amount of lukewarm water needed to completely cover the material and for the material to move around freely. Then for each gallon add one tablespoon of dye (pre-dissolved) and 1/2 cup plain salt. Stir to mix thoroughly.

1 gal. of water in a container that will hold the uncoiled cane, will be enough to submerge the cane for any desired time. In some cases you'll need to add 2 tablespoons of the dye i.e. Chocolate Brown but if your container requires more than one gallon of water to submerge the coil of cane, you will need more. Rust Orange and Ecru only take 1 tablespoon of dye. Plain salt if simply table salt. I used a small bowl to dissolve the salt before adding and a cup to dissolve the dye before adding. I added the salt to the gallon of warm water first and then the dye.

2. Now uncoil the cane and put the material into the dyebath and agitate (turn) frequently for 20 minutes.

I turned the cane after 10 minutes, giving each side 10 minutes. I also agitated the cane with an up and down motion to make sure the dye reached all those prior packed areas.

3. Add 1/3 cup of Soda Ash for each gallon of water used. (Pre-dissolve in hot water and add slowly).

In another bowl I dissolved the Soda Ash in hot water.

I dissolved the Salt and Soda Ash early on before even adding the warm water to the container, since it takes some time for these to dissolve. After putting the warm water into the container, I then added the salt, then dye, then uncoiled the cane and added it, turned the cane after 10 minutes, then after 20 minutes added the dissolved soda ash.

4. Leave in dyebath for up to 2 more hours or until the desired shade is reached. Remember that the color will be lighter when dry.

I left the cane in the dyebath for approximately 1 hour after adding the soda ash, the colors in the photo below were the results. I again turned the cane after 30 minutes. The time you leave the cane in the dyebath will depend on how dark you want the color.

5. Rinse under cold running water to remove all excess dye and allow to dry.

After one hour, I then took the cane out of the dyebath and ran it under cold water until the water ran clear. I then allowed it to dry over night.

6. The next day you use the Dharma Dye Fixative to reduce bleeding of the colors. Retayne will do the same thing.

Instructions for using Retayne and Dharma Dye Fixative above.

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