I've been trawling the Internet for a portable washing machine since I moved into my new workshop. It became difficult to transport big batches home to wash out, and I had heard a lot of buzz about the spinner being great at spinning the soda ash out before dyeing so I'd set my sights on the idea. My arms are relieved at the thought of not having to wring out copious amounts of garments.
It was Facebook Marketplace that delivered the bargain, £40 for a washer and spinner from a lovely couple that had used it in their caravan. Now believe me that is a bargain! I had one in my amazon wishlist and that was £199. Of course you pay less for it being second hand but I'm a big believer in buying second hand, especially when it is saving you a fortune. I'm lucky enough to have a partner that will travel last minute to collect these bargains I find online and it was in my workshop within a few hours.
The first time I used it I underestimated the spinner and the tops came out dry! It has a 15 minute timer for the washer with a gentle, normal and drain setting. The dryer has a 5 minute timer, I learnt quickly that to spin soda ash out and still have a top that's damp enough to fold and dye, I only needed to spin it for 2 minutes. This helped massively with my dye saturation. Having a blank canvas that is damp and not soaking wet affects the process quite dramatically. Dyeing damp will produce results that saturate well with more definite designs and little to no white depending on how you tie it up. Dyeing wet produces results that still saturate but the colour will run further and the results are less predictable, colours run into each other. Both ways can produce brilliant results, I have done both and I continue to do both depending on the style I am aiming for.
My advice to fellow dyers would be to invest in a spinner. If you have a washing machine to wash out I would recommend using the washing machine because it is faster and lower maintenance, but the spinner is perfect for spinning soda ash out and the washer is ideal for me without access to a washing machine. Some washing machines have a spin cycle that doesn't add water so in that case you may not feel the need for a spinner, but they do the job in 20 minutes whereas the spinner takes 2 minutes.
To conclude my portable washer write up, I am on the back end of another problem solved in my workshop and my job is that little bit easier thanks to this machine. Until next time, Peace out.✌️