I am buried under a mountain of tie-dye. Rainbows, Midnights, Purples, Blues, Oceans…those are the color palettes that are dyed. I have started the Greens. My daughter (my partner in the tie-dye business) reads my blog and I want her to know that I have started the Greens. I dyed that one Extra-large T-shirt with the light beer on it, so the Greens are definitely started.
The Forests, Goldens, and Fruities are still to come. My daughter has tied the Forests. She still needs to tie the Goldens and the Fruities. She would have finished the tying by now, but she has been helping me with the dyeing. Our normal division of labor is that she ties and I dye. The dyeing takes longer than the tying, though, and this year we got a late start on the big tie-dye push for the Florida Folk Festival. It’s amazing how much more we can get done when my daughter helps with the dyeing.
When she’s here helping, I can get up and mix more dye without thinking that nothing is getting done. I know the mixing is part of the job, but it feels like just an annoying thing I have to do before I can get back to doing the job. It isn’t quite so annoying when someone is still dyeing while I’m mixing. In a more perfect world, we might have a minimum-wage minion doing the mixing, but in our world, that minion would be making more money than we are.
We are our own minions. We do the planning. We do the designing. We order the blanks and the dyes and the chemicals. We pre-wash, dry and fold every cotton blank that comes in and we store them all until we need them. Before a big event, we make lists of all the things we need to dye. We pre-soak them and tie them and dye them. We wrap them up and leave them alone for at least twenty-four hours and then we rinse them and wash them and dry them.
Sometimes people say to me, “Oh, you make tie-dye for a living. That must be so much fun!”
I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but making tie-dye is a lot of work. I like it a lot better than office work, but it’s still work. It’s not just making rainbows. An awful lot of it is just laundry. Load after load after load of very colorful laundry.
Sigh…my weekly blog post seems to have turned into a rant. It’s late. I’m tired. I am buried under a mountain of tie-dye.