8 May 2011

Experience is what you get when you were expecting something else

Almost a year ago I bought a cool footstool. I didn’t care much for the fabric, but the wooden frame had potential. As soon as I saw it I knew that I wanted to pimp it Alabama Chanin Studio Style.

The original footstool:

There have been various vague Alabama Chanin-related plans brewing in my head for some time. And this Friday I couldn’t hold them back any longer. I had to go and get myself some jersey and pimp that stool of mine NOW.

Off I went to the fabric store. Not surprisingly, I couldn’t find all the colours I wanted. That’s when I decided that if I can’t find it, I’m just going to have to make it myself. I had dyes that had hung around for a while and that I’d never tried before. What a great incentive to get started with them. Without further ado I threw myself into it. Read about the mess here.

And the result?

I got a very nice blue-purple:
What happened to the red-purple that appeared on my scrap when I dipped it in the dye to test it? I tried to follow the directions closely, but it seems that something went wrong in the process. No matter how long I kept rinsing the fabric, the water just didn’t run (even relatively) clear. I know I made too much dye solution, and added more fabric to it to avoid waste, but surely any excess pigment should rinse out quite easily, shouldn’t it? I’m starting to suspect the fixative, or even the dye itself. Perhaps the dye was old? As I said, I was expecting a purple that would lean more towards red than what I got. I also noticed while I was rinsing that the water was more pink than purple. Could it be that there was something wrong with the red dye so that it didn’t fix?

Well, I got a very nice violet, which I’m sure I’ll make good use of it (with a note to self that the fabric isn’t necessarily 100 % colourfast). However, in combination with the two red store-bought fabrics I got for the footstool, it’s not the right colour. I don’t like it. Well, that’s not the truth: I do like it – it’s got oomph, but it’s not right for what I had in mind this time. So I thought of Liz Lochhead’s poem again: If the rhythm’s not right, it’s not right… Rewrite. I rummaged around in my stash and pulled out the jersey I used for the bandana. It’s not as bold a choice as violet, but it brings the harmony I’m after.

The bolder combination with violet (yummy, but for another time):

My choice this time (the photo doesn't do it justice):

Yum! I love it!

And if I change my mind, it’s quite easy to remove strings and replace them with another colour. Very convenient. I’d love it in white and beige too. And I want a matching pillow on top. But that’s for another day.

I hope I won’t have to tie another knot for the rest of the weekend. I just have to pick shoes without laces when I go out to enjoy the sunshine.

No comments:

Post a Comment