Deflated by the fact I hadn’t given my gift ribbon much thought at the beginning, I began experimenting with dying a few samples of silk into the dye baths, I started with yellow and blue. I know full well this was only just a starting point for my ribbon and more experimentation is needed, because I know from previous experiences that it does take more than once to get the colour you want, unless you’re extremely lucky.
Knowing what fabrics work best with different fabrics, I took to acid dyes because I was working with silk and to get the most vibrant colour I could get, this would be the dye for me. I also chose to work with a silk because this gives the ribbon flexibility, for a ribbon the material needs to be able to hold a knot yet be easy to manipulate and knowing that perhaps I wanted to stitch the black mesh over the top of my dyed ribbon I didn’t want a fabric that was already stiff because once I have added an extra layer the ribbon would be too much to work with.
So, I have created my dye baths and of course one colour did not come out as hoped, this was the blue, I altered it slightly by adding more colour and experimented briefly with the time the fabric was in the bath for, however it still was unsuccessful and knew that the blue dye would be something to experiment with at a later date, alongside with a red. although the blue dye did not work, the yellow did, with the chosen timed fabric swatch I then dyed longer pieces to then experiment with printing or stitching on.
With one length I printed small bees and found I didn’t like this, I liked the ribbon by itself but to work with the collection it was going to be a complete bee overload so I moved on to working with a ribbon where I could add just a small touch of design that wouldn’t clash. I experimented with stitched honeycomb into the yellow ribbon with the mesh on top, then I decided that this isn’t going to work with a yellow because it almost seemed that my collection was black white and yellow, I didn’t want some of the other colours to get lost into the background such as the blue and red, so I think If I continue to experiment it will be with a red and blue. Slightly annoying that the blue didn’t work at first because perhaps I could have nailed it first time, but dye baths don’t always work like that. I have however eliminated another colour, so I am getting there, slowly but getting there. Fingers crossed that the red and blue can put an end to this gift ribbon.