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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 23 January 2012
{{This is my 1000th blog post! Woohoo!}}
I feel like an old-timer!

No, not because I have begun to do the 'stretch-out-my-arm-to-read-small-print' thing.
But because I am coming up on five years of dyeing silk.

It may not seem all that long, but in the playsilk biz, it is.
You see, when I opened shop 5 years ago, I was dyeing cotton clothing, a tie-dyer, experimenting more and more with low water immersion dyeing.
At the time, the very few folks were creating playsilks for sale online, and those who were were making either lovely solid coloured silks or complex tie dye and mandala patterns on silk.
Generally, one at a time, each one of a kind (all awesome!).

I was the first in the (online retail) retail market (if I am to trust my research and communications with old-school Waldorf vets) to begin to blend colours in a low water immersion style (for playsilks), in standardized colours.
{{I am being pretty specific here, because I am know someone always knows better!}}

The first BTRT 'colourway'~ Heart of the Fire 2007
In time, I began to standardize my colours, each silk being one of a kind, but with repeatable colour formulas.
I looked to my wool dyeing friends, and the common concept in hand dyed wool, of 'colourways'~ standard colour formulas repeated over various bases and yarns.
And went with it.

Gradually building an extensive line of colourways, along with complementary solid 'palettes' and creating groupings beyond the standard rainbow.
Soft as Spring Palette
 A quick search on Etsy, or any other handmade market today will reveal that this style of dyeing + the 'colourway' concept has been widely adopted by newer dyers.
In fact, I suspect that it is assumed to be 'the norm' in playsilks (without realizing that five years ago, it simply was not)!
Which is pretty darn cool!

Some 15 000 pieces of silk, in my kitchen sink (!), later, I am still passionate about dyeing.
But I don't often have the time to 'play'~ creating new colourways.
New Year, new stash of elastics!

Creating a  colourway is not simply adding a couple of dyes together...
Many of my dyes are custom mixed for my particular shades.
And then there is the order of colour application (very critical!), the amounts of dye, the balance of colours.
Add in the particular temperaments of various dyes, temperatures and other variables.
And whether or not all of the above can be reliably repeated...

And then I have to remember it all.
{I have a partial 'recipe' book, that I should update!}
My favourite yellow in the pot!
New colourways are sometimes happy accidents, but generally I set out to bring a certain vision or experience alive with colour.. early morning dawn, the varied greens of a summer landscape, the blues of polar ice...

This month, I am happy to introduce FOUR new colourways in our 'Heart of...' Collection!
Heart of the Fey
Heart of the Phoenix
Heart of the Mountains
Candy Hearts

Find these and the rest of our silks in the Etsy Shop. ♥♥
Quality • Beauty • Experience


MamaWestWind said...

Your silks are the best! Just beautiful! We have dyed our own and bought from you and yours are definitely the favored.

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