A day in the life of Louise…the dye girl!

New Day….New fabric…..New challenge

Day 1
Today Patricia came into the studio with some feathers, they were sourced sustainably or at  least I think a Magpie flying into your bedroom and kindly leaving them for you counts as that!
magpie-feathers-1
Call me naive but I was surprised, to say the least, with the colours in these feathers taking into account a Magpie is black and white. The feathers are black on the underneath but what glorious colours, a real bird’s wing.

Not a day goes by in this job that I don’t learn something new or indeed try something new. Talking of new Patricia is always on the hunt for fabric and she came across this rather nice faux astrakhan and I’ve been asked to see how it dyes.
astrakhan-fabric
I’m now in the throes of hand painting the astrakhan in the colours of the magpie feathers. I find myself thinking of the day a customer came into the studio with a gorgeous pair of dove pink suede shoes and asked for her wedding dress to match!

Charles and Patricia are pretty good bosses in that they encourage me to just have a go and see what happens, which reminds me I need to do another blog on the day I shrank the wool!

It soon becomes obvious that this fabric takes a great deal of hand painting, the pile is luxuriously long and soaks up every morsel. I could be here sometime!

Day 3
After two days this is what I’ve got, the fabric is creased as it needs to be washed to remove any excess dye and bring the pile back.
fabric-on-the-line

Close up view
fabric-close-up
But, it is not finished yet. A frustrating part of this job is that you can be happy with the result that you have on the line but it can all change in the washing machine!

As they say it’s not over till the fat lady sings, well in this case my fat lady is the washing machine. So here goes!
washing-machine

Well I’m very pleased with the results.

magpie-feathers-and-fabric