I have always been one who wants to find out the key to why things do what they do. Ever since I was a child, I was drawn to the cranks, bells, & whistles of why things shift, move & change. I feel blessed to have this kind of curiosity and I have worked to keep it alive. as a maker of things, it sooo important to understand the nature of your material choices. Why did I pick this over this? Why did that fiber react that way? What happens when I burn/dye/paint-on/tear/melt/use mordents/wet my chosen medium? This concept brings me to my point… By having test samples, I can better determine if I am truly using the best materials to describe my concept.
Dye Sample Book | A "How to"
Here is one of my dye sample books. I like to keep several in order to keep things easy to find. (The samples shown in this post are from my topographical binder which was from a Richard Elliot course at California College of the Arts.)
It helps to see the color best in a neutral white space and not have any surrounding colors manipulating the light… which is why I prefer my clinical-looking, white binder. In keeping with this theme of the focus on the dye samples, it's best to use clear sleeves to keep hair/water/dust off of the fiber samples. Another idea for you to try is to back samples in the sleeves with an index card. This will keep to focus on the page in front of you instead of of the previous or future page.
Tips to Try: buy a yard each of your favorite fabrics in white. Cut them into strips and keep them in separate labeled bags. Each time you dye/melt/sew/etc. something, do the same to one strip of each fabrics. If they are excepted to change over time (such as a natural dyed sample) label them with the date too.