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Color by accident: low-water immersion dyeing Hardcover – 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Ann Johnston (1997)
  • ASIN: B001MFI4AU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,597,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 1998
Format: Spiral-bound
This little monograph is in a ring binder with well reproduced color illustrations of attractive color styles and color combinations. These dyeings have been achieved with cold dyeing Procion MX dyes (BASF - originally invented by ICI) now supplied by three recommended small volume suppliers. The dyeing procedures are simple and easy to use at home, achieving lovely effects on approx 30in x 30in mercerized cotton woven fabric prepared for Printing (Dyeing). It is amazing what lovely fast dyed effects can be achieved at home by a cold dyeing method. Ann Johnston has given the craft trade a gem, particularly intersting for the quilter.
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74 of 78 people found the following review helpful By McKenzie Curtis on January 21, 2006
Format: Spiral-bound
As a quilter, who dyes her own fabric, I was disappointed in this book. First, I think her recipe for stock dyes uses a LOT of dye. Procion dyes are not inexpensive and she recommends 2 Tablespoons of dye/cup of water. In most receipes I have used, the yellows use 1 T of dye in 1 cup of water, blues use 2 teaspoons, and reds 1 teaspoon. The author makes no differentiation between colors of dye in her measurements even though the dye companies and all of the other books I have used, do. I think 2 T/cup is overkill and wasteful.

Second, I don't understand her process for adding Soda Ash. I don't think it works well and felt that a lot of the color washed out of the fabrics as a result. Most of the books I've worked with recommend pre-soaking the fabric and this seems to work much better. (They use a lot less dye in their stocks and the colors are brighter.)

Finally, I tried some of her recipes in the book and was disappointed with the results. The colors on the top of the value parfait were too weak and none of the fabrics in that batch had the texture of fabrics dyed by the processes recommended in Dyeing for Quilters, Fabric Dyeing for Beginners, and Robbi Eklow's new book. I ended up over-dyeing them to salvage the fabric. They are the first pieces I've dyed in 6 months that I didn't like.

However, for individuals who want a simple approach to fabric dyeing this book may work well. It simplifies the dye formulas (by using large quantities of dye and omitting salt) and reduces the steps involved in dyeing value runs and color runs. If you don't mind spending the money on dyes, her approach is easy to follow and can yield decent results. I would recommend more agitation and squeezing in the value parfaits to get adequate dye and soda ash into the center of the fabric.

For folks, who don't mind a few more steps, I think the books mentioned above cover the subject of fabric dyeing much more extensively.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 2004
Format: Spiral-bound
The author introduces her technique of dyeing with little water. She provides everything a complete beginner needs: from materials, to tools, to step-by-step instructions. It's a great book if you dye small pieces or if you like the patterned effect her technique creates on larger pieces. If you want a uniform color on your clothes, however, her technique may not work. So, it's a wonderful book for quilters who want to create unique pieces but need not reproduce them exactly at a later point. In fact, the book cover itself shows beautifully the results of her technique.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Julie Benac on June 21, 2004
Format: Spiral-bound
If you have ever wanted a definitive resource on alternative dyeing technique using Procion dyes, this is it! Ann Johnston is the authority on dyeing with these fiber-reactive dyes, and here she gives the basis for the type of dyeing that is so popular today: low-water immersion dyeing. She teaches the method using many different recipes which are revolutionary; at least to me they were! Going through the recipes, the reader will learn how to apply these same techniques using other color combinations. Most unique was the layered-dyeing technique called "parfait", which yields three different-colored fabrics from the SAME dyepot. Incredible!

All in all, this was just the book I'd hoped it would be, and then some. I've been using it now for about four years, and not once have I been disappointed with the results of my fabrics. For those interested in regular vat dyeing and direct application techniques, she also give basic instructions and recipes for these, too.

This book will hook you into dyeing for good!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Barb C on August 7, 2006
Format: Spiral-bound
I have read and used many books for hand dyeing fabrics. Color By Accident by Ann Johnston is of extremely high quality. It is written much like a cookbook, with clear measures, clear directions and ample support for further creativity. This is not a tie-dyeing manual. It will help the ardent fabric dyer create wonderful materials usable for any type of sewing project. And it is an excellent introduction for those who have never tried this process and don't know where to begin. It is fully resourced, providing information on obtaining everything you will need to proceed.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Alice C Gavey on September 21, 2002
Format: Spiral-bound
This is an excellent book for someone just starting out dyeing fabrics. The techniques are simple and easy to do. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to dye their own fabrics and need a good how-to-book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By GMun on June 30, 2010
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book. The design is good - a spiral notebook style, hard cover, compact size, but ultimately, the content is lacking. I have been dyeing my own fabric for a while now and find that this book added nothing to my skills. Her instructions are, at times, vague and at a twenty four dollar price tag, could have been expanded. I think the price tag reflects quality of product rather than content. Frankly, I have received better, free, low-water immersion instructions on-line at various dye selling websites.
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