Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Science Project

Every year, Rose’s school requires kids to work on a Science Project (with adult supervision). 
Well, guess what my Rose decided to work on....Robots, Volcanoes, not......Magnetic energy....nope, what makes popcorn seeds POP....no, Crystal Formations....that was her topic last year. This year, Rose’s 4th grade science project is all about fabric dyeing. She chose this topic knowing very well she had me hooked. Clever kid, huh? It was actually a great project to work on and an opportunity for me to FINALLY try fabric dyeing. She worked hard, mixing and understanding fiber content and such.
So, pretty much this entire month has been about fabric dyeing. She has to prove which fabrics are easiest to dye, document her experiment and write a detailed conclusion. I read numerous books and websites on the subject to help and guide her through it. I had to find instructions that were somewhat child-friendly and workable in our small apartment. Jane Dunnewold’s book Complex Cloth was extremely helpful. I also gathered info from Paula Burch website , Lisa Call's blog and on Fabrics.net. But the instructions that I liked best, I found in Melody Johnson’s Blog.

We dyed 100% silk charmeuse, 100% cotton, 100% wool and 100% polyester (which obviously didn’t dye) with Procion MX in a Hot Pink color and another batch in Lemon Yellow just for the heck of it. We dyed cheesecloth, lace, muslin, rayon, and other synthetics to further illustrate the project. Following Melody’s instructions, we achieved this.....notice that the synthetics (whites) didn't dye.




It was so easy and fun. Aside from having to go all the way downtown to
MOOD fabrics, and getting lost in all the yummy rich fabrics at  BandJ, and walking all over the Garment District looking for a good price on silks....(yeah, sure, what a drag)....the best part
was sharing and working with Rose. 
It was a great opportunity to share with her my love of fabrics, 
(just in case she forgot)  while learning about it myself. 
If Rose and I can do it in a tiny apartment, you can do it too. So do give it a try.


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