First I scoured the fabric in hot water and Synthropol to remove any finishes. Then I soaked the fabric in soda ash solution. I usually use an electric spinner to spin and recapture most of the soda ash solution but with this technique I wanted the fabric a bit wetter so I squeezes the pieces of cloth out by hand. I laid the fabric out on the table on the bin bag which is opened full length.
This was purple
This was olive
After I felt I had enough dye on the fabric, I dropped the skeins of yarn onto the fabric and pressed it down to saturate it in dye. This turned out to be not such a great idea. I should of had the thread under the fabric which is the way I usually do it. I also pressed the fabric down flat so my finished pieces were not as linear or striped as I would have hoped.
Here are some more process pictures.
The next afternoon I took the package out and lifted each piece of wrapped fabric out of the towels.
I put them in a quick hot wash for 30 minutes with Synthropol and 2 Color Catchers. If you don't have Synthropol. Use a soap without bleach or optical brighteners.
This piece was red, purple and intense blue
This is intense blue and olive and green
This is navy, turquoise and olive
And my Fave, purple and olive
This is an old piece a few years old. Wouldn't this make a wonderful sunset?
And this was dyed especially for sky. I folded fabric in half before gathering to get a perfect "reflection" of sky on water (not shown) and I used it in a quilt of a Vernal pond.
I hope this gives you ideas of how to create some wonderfully stripped fabric. If you can just gather and not press the ridges down, you're outcome will be better. Using the Styrofoam boards helps too.
I hope you have a wonderful time experimenting with tray dyeing.