About Me

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Missouri, United States
A 30 year old wife and mother. I work in table games at a local casino. I read, stitch, and play games on my computer. And I seem to be totally in love with owls for some reason. ;)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fabric Dyeing

When I was in Georgia visiting my mom she taught me how to dye fabric. I posted my results on here and several of you wanted the directions for it. Here are the directions my mom sent me.

Hand Dying Fabric

1. Cut fabric to desired size and zigzag the edges (you don’t have to, but you’ll have lots of “strings” if you don’t)
2. Put a large pot of water on the stove to heat to not quite boiling (Make sure this is an old pot that you aren’t going to use for cooking anymore and that it is deep enough your fabric will be submerged)
3. Wash your fabric to remove the sizing (sizing will prevent the fabric from absorbing the dye good)
4. Once the water is hot, add dye. (I use Liquid Rit Dye and add only a little bit at a time until I get the shade I want.)
5. With the fabric wet, wad it into a ball and drop into dye (having it wadded up is what gives it that marbled look)
6. How long you leave it in the dye mixture depends on how dark you want your finished piece. I leave mine 3 minutes at first.
7. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.
8. If it looks like what you want, go to your ironing board and iron your piece completely dry (ironing is what sets the dye into the fabric permanently)
9. If you’ve got too many light and dark spots or it isn’t as dark as you want, wad it back up into a ball and drop it into the dye for another minute or three
10. Keep doing the dye and rinse until you have what you want.

I have never had any problem with the fabric dye job fading when I’ve washed a completed piece, but admit I’ve been extremely cautious and always, always used cold water to wash dyed pieces.

It isn’t hard to dye your fabric, but it can be time consuming so make sure you have plenty of free time to work on this especially the first few times you do it until you get a routine down. This was a learning experience for me and the first 2 pieces I did came out almost a solid color but I didn’t give up and finally got the result I was looking for. If you live close to a fabric store that sells evenweave or aida by the yard then this can save you quite a bit of money when you want that extra special look hand dyed fabric gives a piece. You’d be surprised how many projects you can get from 1 yard of fabric.


Joy said...

Thank you soo much for posting the directions! I saw your pretty fabrics and threads...are the threads done using the same method? Your stitching looks lovely!! Don't let those leapers slow you down! LOL