Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My eyes cannot perceive brown ...

... or why else do all the firefighter outfits I dye turn out orange?

This week I am attempting to turn a velour shirt and pants into a Scooby Doo outfit for my daughter. We had a great time dyeing them yesterday, but my carefully mixed dyebath produced what this wikipedia page calls burnt umber or possibly even maroon -- brownish red, or very reddish brown. Scooby Doo, of course, is more of a raw umber color, with a very yellow undertone.

I don't actually like this color, which might be why I can't seem to figure out the dye ratio.

After giving it much thought, this morning we overdyed it screaming lime green (about 3 tsp. of yellow & 1/4 tsp. blue, for 200 g. fabric). Once rinsed, it looked EXACTLY THE SAME to me, though of course since I hadn't matched it with anything ahead of time, I had no basis of comparison. I think it was a little less red but perhaps more orange.

On reflection, I decided that I had added too much yellow and not enough blue. So this afternoon I overdyed it a deep spruce blue (about 1 tsp each blue and yellow, although by now I was not measuring with any accuracy, just spooning and looking at the dye liquor). I was worried about making the outfit too dark, but I really had to get away from the red.

The result is beautiful (I think, it's still wet) but not quite Scooby colored. On the wiki page, it's sort of russet or sepia rather than raw umber, but it's definitely brown, and has a slight yellow undertone (which it certainly should, given how much yellow there is in it!). So I'm thinking this will pass muster.

As an aside, this is my first experiment with Dharma's velour clothes. They are really nice, but unlike many of Dharma's blanks they seem to run true to size. Unfortunately that means that this Scooby outfit is unlikely to fit even through the winter. What do you suppose the odds are that I'll be able to recreate the color?

Next up: Making a Scooby Hat.

1 comment:

Caroline M said...

It's because of the red, red is a doomed colour from the start. I bet the screaming lime green stage was fun though