I dyed the most beautiful fabric last month using a three dye parfait method based on Ann Johnson’s book, Color by Accident. I was trying to make fabric that looks like fire, and I succeeded! I love how the reds blend into the yellow, just like a blazing bonfire. Hoping to be able to replicate it, I recorded each step I took and every amount of dye…on the back of the Lowe’s receipt. (I know my mom is shaking her head while reading this. She know how bad I am at holding onto receipts. ) Believe it or not, that receipt is now long gone and I need to restart my experiment from scratch again. Clearly, I need a new system.
Over the years, I record information regarding my color dying experiments sporadically. At times, my notes would make it into a notebook well organized like this: I set up this notebook when I first started dyeing fabric about 5 years ago and I used it for a couple of months. I love having a record to look back at from that time. It is so helpful to see samples of previous fabric batches when planning my colors for a new project. I did not keep up with the notebook for a variety of reasons that I can’t completely remember now. Maybe I lost it? Maybe I didn’t like the form I set up and never found the time to fix it? Whatever the reason, now, more likely than not, my amounts of dye and water used in a solution ends up on scraps of paper that find their way to the trash before I can properly record them.
Most of the dyes I have bought are pure colors, but a few, like the mixing red, brown, and blacks are mixed. If you look closely at the samples, you can see the individual colors. I plan to hang this on a bulletin board in my dyeing space and adding to it when I buy a new dye.
Also, I now have a dedicated notebook in my dyeing space for record keeping with lots of pens nearby. For each fabric dying experiment I will fill out the following form and staple a piece of fabric to the page. It is simple and leave lots of room for notes.