Wednesday, May 08, 2013

What Color is a Tulip Leaf?

I have a customer who wants six chiffon wraps for the bridesmaids for a wedding in the summer.  She originally asked for wraps "the color of a tulip leaf."  So I promptly went out and bought some tulips and tried to match the color.  I tried all the green dye I have:

Emerald Green
Forest Green
Sage Green
Dark Green
Bright Green
Kelly Green
Lime Squeeze

None of them was quite right.  I tried several shades with different dye bath times.  10 minutes instead of 20 for Forest Green.  5 minutes for Bright Green.  Nothing was exactly right, but I sent six samples to my customer for consideration.  She decided to mail me an invitation to the Bridal Shower with its matching envelope for me to use in trying to find the right shade.

At about the same time, I received a flyer from my dye supplier advertising some new Pantone shades for spring.  I compared the Granny Apple green to the invitation and I think it's right on!  I emailed a scan of the flyer and the invitation to my customer and am awaiting her reply.  I think this is the one.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Another Interesting Phenomenon

In the previous post I talked about using calsolene oil.  Now here is another curious thing.  I have made several pieces using Terra Cotta dye and they have always turned out fine.  I recently dyed some gauze with the Terra Cotta using one and a half teaspoons of calsolene oil.  Here is a photograph of how it turned out.  Not Terra Cotta by any means. 

Now here's a photograph of one I made this week without any additives at all - no calsolene.

Is there a chemist out there who can tell me what properties calsolene oil has and why it seemed to eliminate the orange component of Terra Cotta?  The first one is a nice enough color, but it can't be advertised as Terra Cotta nor can it be sold to a customer who requests that color.

The more I work with silk and dye the more fascinated I become with the chemistry.