Monday, January 30, 2012

Fun Day of Dyeing Cotton Fabric

I finally got around to it!  There always seems to be something else that needs to get done so I put off doing the things I enjoy, like dyeing fabric and sewing.  Well today was the day!  I got out my supplies and ripped my fabric into fat quarters (approx. 20" sq.).
Next step was to mix the dye.  I put on my gloves and face mask, wet down a dish towel and went to work mixing.  The dye particles can drift, so the wet dish towel placed on the table helps to prevent that from happening because it pulls the drifting dye right to it. Put small amt. of hot water in cup, mix in dye particles. Add more water to make 1 cup.

I started with primary colors, yellow, red and blue.  I went on to mix these into three more colors which are green, orange and purple so I ended up with 6 colors in all (good math! : ).  I used the zip lock bag method of dyeing this time and found it very easy to do.  I added my scruntched up fat quarter to the bag, added a small amount of liquid soda ash and squeezed this to soak the fabric.  I added a few tablespoons of yellow dye first.  Always, lightest first!  Next I decided to add some of the green.  I squeezed the bag a little then put in another piece of cloth and repeated steps. I zipped up the bag and now I have to wait at least 1 hour.  I usually wait longer. 

Once the time is up, I rinse the dyed fabric in cold water until it runs clear to get all the stray dye out, then wash it in machine.  Machine dry until lightly damp.  Iron nice and crisp so the patterns show up clearly.  Tomorrow: Take photos to post.
There are a lot of instructions for dyeing on You Tube and other sites.  I hope this encourages you to give it a try.


  1. you've given me motivation to start on my cloth dying! :) great job!

    1. Thanks Pamela. If I can motivate just one person to take time to enjoy, then it's worth blogging.
      I'd love to see results of your dyeing.