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Message Board > Fabrics and more... > So I dyed my first batch of hemp... ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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So I dyed my first batch of hemp...
newbie problems with dying
emmiemay
emmiemay
Member since 8/10/10
Posts: 14
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Date: 12/5/11 1:36 AM

So I dyed my first batch of hemp/cotton blend fabric... and it's not looking quite right. :(

The color is uneven. Not in small areas but there are obvious gradients from one large area to another. I am judging this based on looking at the fabric just now as it came out of the final rinse, I'm hoping it is far less noticeable when it dries but I am not sanguine.

1) Can anyone help me diagnose the problem? I washed the fabric several times before dying, including the final wash where I used Dharma Co's special detergent. After it came out of the wash it went more or less directly into the dye bath while it was damp. The only issue I can see is that I had no way to weigh the fabric (I think it was 3.6 oz per yard, 3 yards) so perhaps I miscalculated how much dye I needed. I did the standard 3 gallon batch, with 2 Tb of the procion "moss green" color. I only had a 5 gallon bucket and 3 gallons was not a lot of room for that much fabric. I agitated pretty much continuously with my hands (long gloves on!) and sometimes with a wooden spoon. A few times I pulled the fabric out briefly just to be sure there were no pockets or creases forming deep in the mess of the fabric. I tried to avoid air pockets by squeezing the air out. Any of that sound bad?


2) If it does come out noticeably uneven, any suggestions for how to make it useable? I bought the fabric to make a shirt for my boyfriend (a colette pattern's negroni, if you're curious). One thing I though of doing was bleaching or distressing it down to a lower-key color (it is super darkish green now). I don't want to waste it!!!

emmiemay
emmiemay
Member since 8/10/10
Posts: 14
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In reply to emmiemay


Date: 12/5/11 1:50 AM

I have a bad habit of posting and then being the first to reply... lol.

So I just took it out of the dryer and all the panic was totally unnecessary. It is a beautiful rich green and as even as it can be.

Apparently the color changes I was seeing was either bad lighting or maybe different amounts of dampness?

Anyway, SO HAPPY that it came out well!!! My first dye!!

Teachable lesson for anyone else... um, don't panic until you dry it. There ya go. ;)

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
Intermediate
TX USA
Member since 4/1/08
Posts: 5531
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In reply to emmiemay


Date: 12/5/11 11:25 AM

Good news on how the it all turned out.

I do not want to dye anything in my front loading washing machine for several reasons. If anyone is interested, I've had very good success with using a Space Bag as a dying tub. I do contain it in the big sink, but after 4 uses, it is still not leaking. Besides using a very long stainless stirring spoon, I can agitate the bag and contents by moving it around and squishing it here and there. The results have been very even and consistent.

I do keep the space bag upright as I am not counting on the seal to keep black dye from spewing all of the kitchen (and me).

Nice loop detail at the collar of the shirt.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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KS USA
Member since 12/13/08
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Date: 12/5/11 4:58 PM

Seven, you must have a HUGE kitchen sink! I can't even wash a pot in mine. :(

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~Gem in the prairie

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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TX USA
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In reply to stirwatersblue


Date: 12/5/11 7:51 PM

stirwatersblue,

Yup, the sink is huge. Hubbie installed that and a dandy faucet when we moved into the house.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Sherril Miller
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Sherril Miller  Friend of PR
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CA USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 7478

Going to PR Weekend Austin!
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Date: 12/5/11 9:13 PM

I'd love to dye in my washing machine but I can't figure out how to extend the washing cycle beyond the programmed time so I use one of the more shallow rubbermaid tubs. I stir for the first 45 minutes then I stir off and on for another 30 minutes to an hour depending on how dark I need the color to be. Then I pour it into my washing machine for a spin, vinegar soak, then a wash cycle. I wish I hadn't been so timid about dying things. It really is easy. I've used I-Dye and Dylon dyes. I'm not sure about RIT, I've never used it.

------
Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

Sauvage
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Sauvage  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
MA USA
Member since 7/22/09
Posts: 682
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Date: 12/6/11 10:56 PM

Congratulations, emmiemay! It sounds like you followed the instructions quite conscientiously, especially the "agitating" part. It's so satisfying to have a nice deep color come out of the tub.

If you get tired of stirring and would be able to use variegated color, you could try low-water immersion dyeing. Paula Burch (no affiliation with me) has very good information here:

Dr. Burch

------
Jeanne
2014 yards in inventory: (to be counted)
Yards cut/sewn: 24.5
Yards purchased: 26.5

"People....so much bigger on the inside." Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife," 6.04, by Neil Gaiman.

creative1
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creative1
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 1/25/06
Posts: 526
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Date: 12/7/11 4:51 AM

I am giving up on dying cotton fabrics. They fade in no time. I wonder if hemp/ cotton will hold colors any better.

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