Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dyeing Straw--Millinery Class in Atlanta, Georgia

This past weekend I taught a spanking new millinery course at the Spruill Center for the Arts, entitled 'Dyeing To Make Hats.' It is a class I've been thinking about for quite some time; a skill I've been working on for my own hats for a few years now.

Have you wanted to dye your own straw, whether a hood, capeline, or one of the straw yardages like sinamay, paris cloth, jinsin, silk straw or raffia? See the results of this class' wonderful dyed straws.

All these beautifully dyed straws began as natural or white straw and were dyed with professional, permanent, fiber reactive dyes. Easy, safe, and effective.

HINT: International Millinery Forum attendees...check this post out. Details forthcoming about this class at IMF in January 2012.

A look at some of the dyed straw yardages as they dry and are made ready for the hatmaking portion of the class. Note that each straw is different...from painted flowers to stampings to abstract usage of dye on straw.

Here are a few of the stamps used in class. Very simple but used to beautiful advantage!

Suzanne did a fantastic job of using stamps and stencil brushes to create this design on silk straw.

Absolutely love this Asian-inspired design (partly done with chopsticks) by long-time student Judy. Great colors too.

Claire created this simple but lovely polka-dot design on raffia. See the great fringe?

Oooohhhhh! Gotta love this stamping/drizzling piece by milliner Diane of Hats To Di For! Pretty blue butterflies!

Here's an example of a free-hand design created by Margalee. Quite nice!

Claire and Suzanne hang up some of the dyed and washed out straws. More about that next.

After we vat dyed, tie-dyed, painted and stamped our straw yardage, and then allowed it to 'batch' for a period of time, it was time to wash out the residual dyes. Rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse. Right class? Rinse, rinse, rinse....

Sonja and Gloria with a couple of end result hats dyed in class. Sonja (left) in her tie-dyed sinamay and Gloria in her vat dyed parisisal hood. Both free-style shaped. Lovely!

Claire in her chartreuse dyed hood which she then free-form blocked. This was Claire's first true millinery experience and she did a fantastic job!

Sonja in a free-form silk straw. GORGEOUS! Love, love, love the lines!

Margalee in hot pink silk straw fascinator. Don't you love this?

Pretty tie-dyed sinamay from Gloria. Gloria is the milliner behind Gloryous Hats.

Stop the presses! Sonja's free-form styled green raffia straw topper. Everyone loved this! Vat dyed raffia yardage.

Another of Sonja's hats...dyed and styled in class.

Ooooooo. Love Margalee's tie-dyed headpiece you see here. This is an easy technique of dyeing but with dramatic effect. Margalee and her sister Melissa (see later post) have heretofore done mostly Kentucky Derby type hats, since they are from Kentucky! But I have a feeling they will be expanding their scope of styles for those ladies attending Derby next year.

Claire in her purple tie-dyed fascinator. Her second hat ever! Great job, Claire!

Diane takes her 'eggplant' knotted sisal hood and creates this amazingly styled fascinator. Who needs embellishment with design like this? Love it!

Melissa (from Kentucky) spent alot of time designing and creating this bias-fringed, tie-dyed fascinator. I think it is a fantastic piece, and a departure from the styles she and her sister Margalee are usually creating. Love it that they are open to new styles for their clients.

Suzanne, an art history major, used her vast artistic knowledge to create her pieces of tie-dye, stamping and drawing yardage. Great use of color ranges and styles, Suzanne!

As usual, you are looking at pieces that may or may not be completely styled and finished hats and headpieces. I always treat my classes as 'process not product'. In other words, you will know a number of techniques at the end of my classes, but your hat may or may not be complete as far as embellishments, etc. I think learning the millinery techniques is so very important. Everyone can embellish to their heart's content either in class (time permitting) or at home with all your accoutrement. A very personal decision, and one I really shouldn't even be involved in with your hat. I'm soooo much about the technique being perfected, NOT just the embellishment.

I hope you enjoyed just a taste of what it takes to dye straws. Look for classes in 2012 that will expand this newly created class from moi!