I dyed!

And lived to tell the tale!

Dyed-Fabric1Had it not been for Sue Bleiweiss’s amazing DVD, I’d have never tried it. She made it look so damn easy, I got stupid excited. So everything was set up on DH’s beer-making table in the back yard. No, he doesn’t make beer in the back yard. He makes it in the basement. We are not the Clampetts! (They live across the street from us) It was a perfect day –  mid-80’s and absolutely no wind. Had there been wind, I would have had to make up the dye in the house, which I didn’t want to do since the house was on the market to sell. All I need to do is spill dye on the floor – can you say disaster???

I don’t have any pics of the process – nobody here to take them and I didn’t want to stop, take off gloves, take pics, put the gloves back on (ad nauseum). But I loved that I didn’t have to use big vats. Just a bucket to pre-soak the fabric in soda ash and zip-lock bags. Here’s the fabric in the bags, “cooking”:

dye-bagsI mushed the bags around to disperse the dye every 30 minutes for 4 hours, then let them sit overnight. In the morning, I spent about an hour rinsing all the fabrics and hung them on a rack to dry before bringing them in the house to wash. Remember, no dye on floors!


Wet dyed fabric

Eureka! Look at those freakin’ great colors!! I’ve been wanting some bright colors for ages but haven’t been able to find what I wanted. Hence, the incentive to dye. I thought I had gotten green, but apparently I picked out a blue-green. Green will definitely be in the next batch.

Into a hot wash they went, with some Synthropol and color catchers. Here’s the finished product:

Dyed-Fabric-3OMG. I’m in love. Candy colors I could just eat.

Ten of the 12 turned out mottled, although I was hoping for solid.

MulberryThat’s my fault. I didn’t open the bags and mix the fabric to disperse the dye, but just squished the bag. So while the dye disperse, the fabric didn’t move around. Good learning lesson. But (swoon!) they’re beautiful, and look as good as any mottled fabric I’ve bought in a store. I had a problem with one of the purples:

purple-spotSee the white spot? I must not have stirred up the fabric in the pre-soak soda ash mixture well enough on this one, and the color didn’t take. Another lesson learned. But isn’t the mottling beautiful?! That white spot won’t stop me from using it!

It took exactly 2 hours to dye 12 different colors and put everything away (but the table). It was easy. It was fun. Of course, this first batch of fabric was a little expensive, having to buy the dyes and supplies. But I plan on doing much more of this, so it’s going to get less expensive the more I do!

Oh! And the house sold! Ohio, here I come!!

Cindi 100

5 thoughts on “I dyed!

  1. Love your colors. Could you share the formula for amounts of dye to water, etc. Also, is it a liquid dye. Definitely want to try this. Thanks in advance.


    • Kitsy, I used Pro MX Fiber Reactive Dyes from Pro Chemical & Dye Company.
      These are powdered dyes. One teaspoon dye to one cup water. Good luck on your dyeing!

  2. Inspiring! The whole process, mixing the dyes, marinating them and laundering and ironing is so much fun and that’s not even mentioning looking at all those yummy colors. Oh no, I think I’m into another project.

    • I encourage you to try it, Emily – the instructions on Sue’s DVD are so simple, and it was great fun. It was also empowering to make the colors I wanted!

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