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Dyed in Vermont Tie-dyes
by Richard Rogers
This Tapestry is from about 15 years ago and not a great photo, but I think a nice soft example of a star.
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Hey, it's my birthday. Sixty-four today. Born in Boston Massachusetts, March 9, 1942. I'm actually a little "pre-boomer", because my father joined the coast guard and didn't go overseas.

Here is a Tapestry in what I call Earth Colors: Chino, Rust, Red-Brown, Blue, Olive, and Navy. These colors mirror the rainbow combination: yellow, Orange, red, Blue, Green Purple. This picture is actually of a tapestry from several years ago. I'm now reintroducing this color combination on the web site. I'm going to do a bunch of color experiments on bandanas today. I'm dyeing round 2 today and will be putting my favorites new ones up here for you to see.

Please Comment. Is there anybody out there?
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Tapestry a Day Project--Day 8

Today's Tapestry: Teal with Raspberry Heart
Pattern: Heart
Color Combination: Teal with Raspberry
Colors Applied: Teal, Turquoise, Lavender, Raspberry, Blue and Navy.
Size 44 x 44 inches
This is a tapestry from around 15 years ago that I still really like.

Case of the disappearing tie-dye shirt
(Where did my shirt go?)

A few years ago, that might be 15 to 20 by now, I heard someone say, "I never buy tie-dyes because they always fall apart." Perhaps you've heard similar comments. The culprit is mildew, which as far as I can tell feeds on almost everything organic. The tie-dyer may not even be aware of the damage. Mildew damage may not be apparent until you've worn the garment a few times when clusters of holes start to appear. These holes are spots where mildew weakened the fiber.

The problem happens because tie-dyers work with wet shirts, and if they keep them around too long before they are rewashed they will mildew. First, they start to smell, then they develop spots that grow, and if left long enough become holes. When you buy the garment the mildew has usually been killed by hot water when the garment was processed after dyeing so there is no smell and you may not be able to see any damage. Dyers should rewash garments in very hot water at the very first trace of a smell.

This was a huge problem in the early days of tie-dye, but fortunately, the activator that most dyers use will retard mildew quite effectively if it is added to the shirts when they are wet out. Since most dyers use this method now, I think mildew is a smaller problem than it used to be, but it is certainly something to be aware of.
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Tapestry a Day Project--Day 7

Today's Tapestry: Earth Eight Point Star
Pattern: Eight Point Star
Color Combination: Earth
Background: Light Blue
Colors Applied: Chino, Rust, Red-Brown, Olive, Blue and Navy
Size: 44 x 44 inches
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Tapestry a Day Project--Day 6

Today's Tapestry: Rainbow with Black 8 Point Star
Pattern: 8 Point Star
Color Combination: Rainbow
Background: Black
Colors Applied: Red, Orange, Yellow, Turquoise, Blue, Purple
Size: 44 x 44 inches
I really like the almost elecrtic quality that this color combination often has.
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Tapestry a Day Project--Day 5

Today's Tapestry: Lavender-Grey Mandala
Pattern: Mandala
Color Combination: Lavender-Grey
Colors Applied: Lavender, Grey, Blue, Black
Size 44 x 44 inches

New color combinations

Not much to say today. It's a beautiful sunny Sunday in Vermont. I'm going to dye shirts today and I am going to do a bunch of bandanas in new color combinations. I'll put the ones that I think are interesting up here. Maybe I'll set it up so they can be voted on. Any Comments?

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Tapestry a Day Project--Day 4

Today's Tapestry: Gold-Lavender Guitar
Pattern: Guitar
Color Combination: Gold-Lavender
Colors Applied: Gold, Lavender, Dark Brown, Blue and Black
Size 44 x 44 inches

Buyer be Ware when buying tie-dyed garments
(You might not get what you see)

I am not into putting down other tie-dyers, but there are some things people should know when purchasing a tie-dye.

First, each tie-dye is unique, and tie-dyers have difficulty standardizing products. People like getting a unique product, but there are also pitfalls. Even when I do many pieces of the same pattern and color combination there are variations from piece to piece, and I like some of them better than others. This creates a gradation of quality at least as my eyes see it.

The problem comes in when you look at a photo of a tie-dye on a tie-dye site, because you don't know if the piece was the best of 10 or the best of 200. Essentially, the shirt you get may not look like the image you saw on the site.

My tie-dyes always look better than the photos, and I also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and take back all returns. I've had almost no returns do to quality.

I also started my Tie-dye Bazaar where I sell individual pieces. And I will soon be opening my Tapestry Gallery which will be all individual pieces. The tapestries are our real art product, and I don't want to limit myself to standardized patterns. I want to try a lot of different variations and sell them all individually. This will be more satisfying for me and more interesting for customers.

My next post is going to be Buyer Be Ware--Disintegrating Tie-dye Garments...
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Tapestry a Day Project--Day 3

Today's Tapestry: Raspberry, Lavender, Turquoise Twelve Point Star
Pattern: Twelve Point Star
Color Combination: Raspberry, Lavender, Turquoise
Background: White
Colors Applied: Raspberry, Lavender, Turquoise, Blue and Navy
Size: 60 x 60 inches
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Tapestry a Day Project--Day 2
Today's Tapestry is a Rainbow Twelve Point Star on a white (slightly blue) Background
and measured 60 x 60 inches.


What is Tie-dye, Anyway?

Originally tie-dye meant any way of tieing, twisting etc. to create a resist to the dye's penetration and thereby produce a pattern when the piece is dunked in dye. Shibori is a good example of this type of tie-dye taken to a high art.

Procion fiber reactive dyes were first introduced in 1956. They changed the whole dye industry, and tie-dye in particular. Procion dyes made dyeing as a hobby or small business possible because:

1. They do not require the use of caustic chemicals.
2. The left over dyes are biodegradable and can be safely disposed of in home septic tanks.
3 .They can be applied cold which is important when you're dripping the dyes on rather than dunking.
4. They produce brilliant permanent colors. They are "fiber reactive", and actually bond to the fiber at an atomic level.

These characteristics made it possible to apply more than one color at a time. Previously the dyes had to be set and the item washed before a second color could be applied, and it was very hard to use more than 2 colors.

That's the technical part of the answer, but what is tie-dye? What people call tie-dye today encompasses a variety of processes. Tie dye patterns range from pieces that look like they were pinned on the wall and had dye thrown at them to very intricate patterns such as stars and Mandalas at Dyed in Vermont. Rudimentary patterns are used behind screen printed images and called tie-dye.

Here's my answer-tie-dye can be just about any way to apply dye to material. We might even need some new names. I use tie-dye art, highly patterned and such to try to distinguish myself, but they're not really very adequate.

So I leave it up to you, what is tie-dye? Please Comment. The next article will be something like "Buyer Be Ware-Tie-dye's dirty little secret" or "Tie-dye what you see might not be what you get".

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This is the first of what I hope to make daily posts. I've tried to do this before, and it isn't easy when your already busy running a business to do something every day, but I'm determined. Today's Tapestry is a 12 Point Star dyed in Red, Yellow, and Blue with black separating and accentuating the colors.
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