How Well Hell Changed How I Dye


A while back I discovered that the water people who put in my softening system had lied to me about the water tests for my well. I had specifically asked about heavy metals. Turns out, they never tested my well for them. I had my well water tested first through the regular tap water and then through my reverse osmosis drinking water system in the kitchen. I found a large number of contaminants in my well water and the frightening part was that one of them is aluminum and the RO was not removing it all. There was not a large amount of contaminants left in the RO water, but enough to be concerned for drinking purposes. My water was still more purified than any of the city water that I knew had been tested by other people in my town.

Up until this point I had been using the RO water for mixing my acid dyes. I decided to try using distilled water instead. At this point it meant trucking in water and lugging it up the stairs to the studio. I make a large number of dyes in any given week so the amount of water to lug was truly giving me a work out.

Here’s what happened. My finished product dyes are fuller looking to my eye. I am a very observant person and small details do not escape me. The change in how the dyes looked was not huge, but enough to turn my head and make me think. So I called my friend at one of the dye companies I purchase from and asked her to be very sciencey with me and tell me what happened. Of course my eyes glazed over as she spoke and I looked like a deer in headlights because I am not sciencey minded. But the short of it is, without contaminants or other particles in the water, the dye has more room to spread out and more space open for it to adhere to the fiber. Aha!!

To me, love is in the details. Color is something that makes me breathe, makes me thrive and brings life to my soul. So how could I not pursue this further. The Allons-y! fiber arts  is now officially a  no particles-in-your-way dyes studio. Subtle change - maybe -  but to me it matters tremendously.

I tested out how the old water compared with the new by doing two rovings the same with the same amount of dyes. I showed them to a few people and got the same reaction. They saw a difference and liked the distilled one better. I should have photographed them but I already sold both of them!! Oops! Well use your imagination or try it yourself and see what you think.

One more detail in dye work. Love it!