The Living Canvas
Having a product that is both beautiful and functional has always been very important to me. Working in the clothing business for so many years has taught me much about what the consumer wants and needs.
People are often very concerned about whether my products can be laundered. Absolutely! I want my clothing to be worn, not sit on a shelf looking pretty. If it doesn’t stand up to washing, it doesn’t get into my product line.
The dyes that I use are fixed with chemical washes. Whether it is an ice dyed scarf or a funky tie dye shirt, the dyes are permanent...period.
I take great care to treat the fabric before it is dyed. Opening up the fibers by soaking the fabric in a pre-wash chemical bath allows the dyes to penetrate deep into the fabric when they are applied in a later step. Allowing the dyes to sit or “cook” as we call it in the dye world, for a minimum of 48 hours guarantees rich, vibrant colour. Patience is needed in this line of work, no rushing! Any dye that doesn’t penetrate the product after 48 hours is simply washed off the surface and the remainder is set using another chemical in the wash out process.
By the time my products get to market, they have been washed by me several times. Hence, the next concern customers have......will they shrink? No further shrinking will take place after it leaves my studio, unless of course you throw the item in a hot dryer and leave it there until it is crisp.....don’t do that!
When it comes to my sun dyeing, these are actually paints that are being used like dyes. Paints are never as hardy as real dyes but the ones I use are heat set, and then washed vigorously before the final ironing occurs. I wouldn’t want to see anyone throw them in a washing machine because it would be hard on the silk and the paints. Hand washing in the sink is best if you want the product to last for many years. Again, they are not going to shrink.
Each of my products has care instructions with it. My scarves all require hand washing simply because of the delicate silk and rayon, not because of the dyes used to make it. Everything can be ironed if it becomes necessary. A freshly pressed scarf looks much better than a wrinkly one so iron away!
Feel free to get in touch with me at The Living Canvas in Deep River, Ontario for any questions you may have about the
durability of the dyes I use.