How to Dye and Stain Baskets
Dyeing your Basket ...Before or After Weaving??
Another question of the week involved dyeing. Let's say that you're dyeing the entire basket one color. In that case, I would recommend waiting until the basket is finished- UNLESS it's a very large basket. You have to have a dye bath container large enough to contain the dye to COVER the basket. Example: Cape Cod Blueberry basket in a kitchen bucket. If the basket is large, dye all materials, including the handle, before you begin weaving.
Obviously, if you want stripes of different colors, you'll also dye the reed BEFORE weaving. Sometimes people wipe the reed with a cloth before they insert each strand. This is to prevent the dye from getting on your hands. I've never had that problem with our dyes.
Always remember to dry the dyed reed completely before you RE-SOAK to weave with it. Some very dark shades of grocery store dyes tend to bleed more. This isn't a flaw; the pigment is just richer for dark colors. Toss in some salt (the old quilter's color-set trick) and it will help to set the color on the reed.
Give a whole new dimension to your basketry. For baskets that look "antique"- without looking old- use chestnut dye. The color is a beautifully mellow shade of brown with a lot of depth. (Shown in photo: natural basket on left. Chestnut dyed basket on right.)
Comco Dye Colors: Antique gray, Georgia peach, Egyptian red, wild rose, stonewash blue, velvet plum, chestnut, mission oak, hunter green, reseda green. $ 1.99 each
NEW! Basket Tree Dyes: Violet, denim, lemon, walnut, gold, turquoise, lilac, burgundy, mauve. $2.30 each
Why not use just any old leftover wood stains?
Above right is a wicker box which has been sprayed with walnut Weaver's Stain. This stain is great stuff! It's not anything like using spray paint. The spraying radius is about 6" wide so you get quick, even coverage in a fine mist. No blobs. And the spray button is wide. You don't even need to wear gloves to protect your button finger!
Beautiful results! Weaver's Stain, a Danish oil spray stain. This is a tung oil product. NO poly-urethane! Spray it on for a finish that will definitely enhance the way your baskets look and last. 11 oz. can.
Staining Tips from the Weaver's Stain manufacturer
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