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Volume 4, Issue 3
Fall / Winter 1999

Dyeing and Painting Fabrics

by Betty Conlin

Learning to embelish your own fabrics using the simple techniques available today is a must for any serious quilter. In the early 50's, when I first started playing with dyes, emphasis was placed on exact measuring with scales. We believed this method was necessary to create perfect and repeatable, results. The process became a scientific experiment with everything documented rather than an artistic adventure. I started dying my own fabrics because it gave me greater control over the creative process,
however this still didn't appeal to my artistic sense. Fortunately times have changed and fabrics once considered to be mistakes are now hailed as mottled colours and are very desirable. Each of these pieces has its own gradation built in. After workingthrough

the mechanics andunderstanding colour, one can set themself free to enter into the field of all

possibilities where every piece of fabric is a masterpiece and one can create true colour magic.

Over the years, I've read almost every book available dealing with dyeing, painting and embelishing fabrics. I experimented with all the techniques taught in these books. I noticed that each author used a different set of words and a slightly different format to describe similar processes. I eventually came to the conclusion that all the instructions were correct.

When it came to dyes, most of the authors chose to use the cold water method (Procion MX dyes). Sodium

- continued on page 2


As we wind down toward the year 2000 (everyone knows the true Millennium isn't for another year), I cannot stop but reflect on my personal past, the present and of course the future. I have many goals I wish to achieve. The most obvious is to continue to explore and improve on my personal passions (golf, snowboarding, driving, travelling, etcÉ.). But how does this relate to G&S Dye? As some of my long time customers know, G&S Dye is a family business started 13 years ago by my father. Long "semi-retired", Godwin is now enjoying the fruits of all his past labors. I've discussed the many quantitative improvements that I've made in past newsletters, but I think that the most important thing I've added to G&S Dye is making more contacts and allowing everyone to put a face to the company. The retail and mail order environment has changed

tremendously and we'll be trying to keep up and lead. Our successes and failures will eventually rest on finding, teaching, nurturing and providing the best products at competitive prices for existing and future customers. So what changes have we planned for the near and further future? I'm a big fan of the Internet, as most of you know. Fear not, I have not forgotten those who have yet to embrace this technology. I know it's not for everyone and most, if not all the information available on-line is available only a phone call away. The advantages to those who embrace computers early are faster information, more readily available information and the cost savings for the consumer to retrieve and for us to provide this information. There is a huge rush for companies to start taking orders through the web site. Although our current site doesn't have that capability, I don't believe it provides the proper experience for our customers.

I cannot say that we won't add this feature eventually, but I believe our site is meant to be informative. Orders should be place by phone or email. These two methods are interactive and allow us to review and respond accordingly.

Another ambitious change in the future is to continue to add more outlets that carry our products, first in Canada and eventually the US. The combination of a low dollar and good facilities have prepared us well to concur this New Year, decade, century and millennium.

I wish everyone happy holidays and the best in the New Year

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G&S News - Winter '99 (1) {date}