Hand Dyed Fabrics
As a service to fellow art quilters and fabric lovers, textile artist, author, and fabric dyer, Jean M. Judd has added to her web site the ability to order your own set of hand dyed fabrics. Each order will be hand dyed at the time of the order so your fabric will be unique to you. Each dyeing session yields a slightly different outcome because my process is more along the lines of "freeform dyeing". Even when the exact same recipe is used, it will not develop the exact same design on the textile as another client's set of hand dyed fabrics.
To request a specific custom dye fabric bundle not shown on the site, please go to the Contact Artist page and send me an email. We can start the process of determining the color you are interested in and how many "steps" you desire in your bundle. The fewer "steps" between fabric pieces, the greater the change in the selected color from light to dark. The more "steps", the less gradual of a change from light to dark which can sometimes only be seen under direct sunlight or using Full Spectrum lighting.
I use Procion MX Dyes which bond right with the fibers at the molecule level, and are permanent once the process is complete. You can wash and dry these fabrics just as you do commercial fabrics. I use Pure Threads PFD (Prepared for Dyeing) fabric by James Thompson in both white ground and unbleached ground. Each base fabric gives a different value to the same dye colors. Below is an example of one batch of 24 colors with a medium value and minimal manipulation of the fabric during the curing process. The colors are very mottled, and have a range of value from light to dark on the same piece of cloth. For those still interested in hand quilting their work, this fabric needles beautifully, and the dye process does not change the hand or drape of the fabric.
CHARCOAL GREY (Light) - This is an example of charcoal grey on white PFD (prepared for dyeing ) fabric. The tones in this 21 piece dye lot range from a silvery look up to pewter. A medium and light lot will be coming in the next few months. ORDER Detail 1 shows one of the patterns formed in the dyeing process. Detail 2 shows 6 different tones.
MEDIUM VALUE HAND DYED This is an example of medium value on white prepared for dye fabric. ORDER
LIGHT VALUE HAND DYED This is an example of light value on white prepared for dye fabric. ORDER
DARK VALUE HAND DYED FABRIC This is an example of dark value on white prepared for dye fabric. ORDER
This shows three different one yard pieces. One fabric from the dark value, one from the medium and one from the light. Each one has a different mottled design and varying shades in the piece.
BLACK BASED HAND DYED FABRIC This is my latest foray into hand dyeing black based fabrics. This is an example of a light black batch that includes undertones of red, yellow, or blue on the piece. Unbleached Prepared for Dyeing fabric was used as the ground. Shown in the photo is a 16 piece color run. Future batches of black will be 19 pieces each. Each batch will consist of one yard pieces. ORDER Detail This is a detail shot of the above light black batch showing a small portion of the designs that develop during the curing process.
I have been hearing back from clients during the last couple of months, that they are finding wonderful "things" in their pieces of hand dyed fabrics. I am in such a hurry to get orders out, that when ironing the fabrics, I do not take the time to really look at each piece of fabric. Clients have reported finding inprints of faces, skulls, hands, leaves, feathers, Menorahs, American Indian headdresses, butterflies, flowers, pairs of eyes, birds, Mardi Gras masks, cave drawings, tiaras, fossil images, and shoe treads to name a few. One client says that it feels like she is on a treasure hunt each time a new order arrives and she spends hours go over the pieces looking for surprises in the fabric.
Note the Koala Bear in the center, bottom of the fabric above.
SMOKY BLUE RED, CHARTREUSE, & YELLOW ORANGE HAND DYED This hand dyed batch of 27 tones, shades and tints of blue red, yellow orange and chartreuse are one yard pieces on unbleached prepared for dyeing fabric. The colors remind me of autumn tones or colors you see in the sunrise or sunset that has been affected by the smoke particles from a forest fire. After a forest fire on the West Coast of the US or in the Rocky Mountains, our sunsets and sunrises in Wisconsin are much more spectacular due to the changed atmosphere from the smoke associated with these fires. ORDER
This is a detail image of four of the chartreuse fabrics from the above dye batch. Some of the fabrics in this collection also have very distinct rust or brown accents in the fabric.
CLEAR BLUE RED, CHARTREUSE, & YELLOW ORANGE HAND DYED This hand dyed batch of 27 tones, shades and tints of blue red, yellow orange and chartreuse are one yard pieces on unbleached prepared for dyeing fabric. The colors remind me of autumn tones or colors you see in the sunrise or sunset. The fushia color is more prevalent in these pieces then the batch of smoky toned fabrics shown above. ORDER Detail This is a detail image of one of the fabrics from the Clear Chartreuse batch of fabrics. Notice the wide range of design and tones, shades and tints in the one yard piece.
DARK CHARCOAL GREY with Teal, Olive Green and Wine. This is an example of a dark charcoal grey batch that includes tones of teal, olive green and wine. White Prepared for Dyeing fabric was used as the ground. Shown in the photo is a 19 piece color run. Each batch will consist of 19, one yard pieces. Detail ORDER
A sample of a 21 yard bundle of truffle brown hand dyed fabric. This bundle consists of light, medium and dark shades. Each piece is one yard.
BANDED HAND DYED FABRIC This is an example of banded fabric. The one on the left is using light value fushia and medium value lemon yellow and turquiose. The fabric on the right is using light value fushia, turquoise and lemon yellow. The completed artworks can be seen under the Banded Cloth series. Use the Contact Artist page to inquire about special ordering your own unique banded fabric.
Each purchase will consist of 24 different colors based on the 24-color colorwheel and will be one yard per color for a total of 24 yards, unless otherwise stated such as the black hand dyed above or other specialty batches. Over the next few months I will be refining my dye recipes and posting images of the various options that will be available to you. Payment will be via Paypal and orders should be filled within one to two weeks from the date of the order.
I've been hearing back from clients about some of the unique ways they are purchasing these large bundles of fabric and then distributing them amongst their fellow quilters. Some are forming buying co-ops and buying each new bundle as I'm getting the examples put on the website. I have one group in particular who have a standing order for one bundle of each recipe I do so they can expand their fabric stashes as I progress. They've been very good about constructive criticism on each new recipe.
Two, three or four quilt artists are going together on a 24-color bundle and then having a "fabric party" when the package arrives. This makes the entire process much more inexpensive since they are sharing the costs. One wonderful idea from three quilters on the West Coast, is that each person draws a playing card to see what order they go in for selection and they each select a one yard piece. This continues till all the yardage is selected.
Another group from Europe gets together when the package arrives and cuts up the one yard pieces into fat quarters or half yard pieces depending on whether two or four of them were involved in the purchase. That way each of them gets a piece of each color in the bundle. They also issue a challenge when they distribute each new bundle of hand dyed fabric using a specific theme and each member has to create a 16"x16" quilt using at least one piece of fabric from the new bundle. Some of the pieces they produce are outstanding works of art! Unfortunately I don't have permission to post images of their work.
I've had clients ask me why I don't sell the hand dyed fabric one piece (color) at a time. My accounting and manufacturing background has ingrained in me that having lots of inventory is not conducive to a profitable business. My goal is to supply my clients with the product (hand dyed fabric) they want in a timely fashion at the best possible price. More inventory means more costs for me since I would need more storage space. This way I maintain the integrity of each batch and the fabric does not look like commercial fabric, which it isn't. This fabric is really custom made to order.