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Message Board > Quilters' Corner > fabric dyeing ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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fabric dyeing
quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/8/13 8:56 AM

Well I was sitting listening to a podcast and the woman is talking about fabric dyeing. I have resisted this so far as I really don't have the room or place to do it. Then I started thinking of how great it would be to make you own fabric. I don't need anymore sewing addictions. Has anyone seriously tried it? Did you like it? Is it very messy? Off to do some internet research.

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TessKwiltz
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TessKwiltz  Friend of PR
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In reply to quiltingwolf <<
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Date: 3/8/13 10:10 AM

Quote: quiltingwolf
Has anyone seriously tried it?

Yes
Quote: quiltingwolf
Did you like it?

Love it!
Quote: quiltingwolf
Is it very messy?

Yes!

Start you explorations with Dharma Trading and Paula Burchwebsites. Lots of great info on the different kinds of dyes and techniques.

Dyeing is not cheap! I don't do it to save money, I do it because I enjoy it and I like using one-of-a-kind fabric in my projects. Using my own labor makes it cheaper than buying someone else's hand dyes, but still more expensive than commercial fabric.

I use Procion dyes and my favorite fabric to dye is Kaufman Pimatex PFD. I used to be able to get it by the bolt from Hancock's of Paducah, but they no longer offer it with a quantity discount, so I don't know what I'm going to do when my current bolt runs out. Fortunately I just opened it, so it'll be a while before I need to look for more.

One warning - every dyer that teaches a class or write a book has their own techniques, which is fine, but they will all say their techniques are superior to everyone else's techniques. So I've had to take it all with a grain of salt and try various techniques until I find the ones that work for me.

If you're interested in silk dyeing/painting at all, Colorhuesare easy to work with, but only work on silk. I've also dyed silk with Procion dyes which comes out fabulous.

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Tess

On threadpainting flowers: "How many colors are in a flower? ... How many do you have?" - Ellen Anne Eddy

TessKwiltz
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TessKwiltz  Friend of PR
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In reply to quiltingwolf <<


Date: 3/8/13 10:20 AM

I forgot to mention there's a Craftsy class with Jane Dunnewold called The Art of Cloth Dyeing. Also Marjie McWilliams teaches dyeing at Quilt University and her beginning class is coming up starting April 5 Quilters Palette

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Tess

On threadpainting flowers: "How many colors are in a flower? ... How many do you have?" - Ellen Anne Eddy

quiltingwolf
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Date: 3/8/13 10:54 AM

I've been doing some research this morning. I've found some of the sites you mentioned. But realized I don't have the room indoors for this. I'm thinking it might have to be a summer activity outside. I saw where you can get kits to get you started. But then I start thinking would I like this enough for all the time it would take, that I could be spending quilting. The the money could be spent on fabric.

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TessKwiltz
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In reply to quiltingwolf <<


Date: 3/8/13 11:27 AM

IKWYM, I take up the house when I dye! I only do it when DH is out of town, I take over the kitchen and the spare bath. I mix dyes in the kitchen and do the actual dyeing in the bathroom (to make sure powdered dye doesn't find it's way to the PFD fabric making little unexpected specks). Gasp! I can hear some of my dyeing instructors panicking that I mix dye in the kitchen, but I cover my surface and clean up well afterwards.

One of the reasons this works for me is that the flooring in both my kitchen and spare bath needs replaced, so I wouldn't care if I ruined it. Not that I've ever spilled dye on the floor, but ya know I will as soon as the flooring is new

Working outside could be doable, but it really helps to have not just running water but warm running water. Also the powdered dye floats away easily, so the measuring would have to be done out of the wind somehow.

If you want to get creative, fabric paints are almost as versatile and much less invasive (and can be done outside). Pebeo Setacoloris a translucent fabric paint that can give dye-like effects. It's also great for sun printing.

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Tess

On threadpainting flowers: "How many colors are in a flower? ... How many do you have?" - Ellen Anne Eddy

goodworks1
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Date: 3/8/13 3:13 PM

I've got lots of money invested in dyeing supplies, especially fiber reactive (Procion) and the 'acid' dyes for silk and nylon. And lots of various paints/pigment dyes.

I've had some problems using the fiber reactive dyes because our water is so alkaline that even our water softener set on it's highest setting isn't enough to get to the pH needed. My most recent idea is to do low-water dyeing with water from my home water distiller. But I'm just getting started on that....

I'm not one to do super-accurate measuring/weighing of dyes so I can reproduce them later. I rather like the serendipity of odd things happening on the fabric. But I DO insist on dyes that are color-fast; that's why I'm considering changing my methods.

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blog: goodworks1.wordpress.com

Amy-may
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Amy-may
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Date: 3/9/13 1:35 AM

I love to dye, I can get distracted and dye so much faster than I can quilt!

My recommendation for dabbling with the idea is to buy a T-shirt tie-dye kit from JoAnns or Micheals (with a coupon) and start playing. The advantage of starting with a kit - all the chemicals are right there with simple instructions. I tie-dyed shirts for my kids one summer, then hated to waste the extra dye.....and a monster was created! If you decide that dying is not for you, you won't have much invested or wasted.

I generally dye a large batch outside in the spring and fall. I have a plastic laundry tub/sink that gives me running water (garden hose attaches) at a comfortable height to work. I set up an old card table and use the lids from Rubbermaid tubs as trays. I mix my dye colors in 12oz sport water bottles, then squirt, squeeze, and play until I like the look I have. Throw it in a plastic grocery bag and let it "marinate" overnight, then rinse everything and send it through the washer. Oh and ah as it comes out of the dryer!

Now, I am not interested in graduated colors, fat eighths, or solids. I work with large 30x44ish chunks that I will later cut up for art quilts. I make no effort to have repeatable anything. Every piece is different!

I will work with larger pieces for quilt backs, as much as a queen size sheet. (Dying a seamed quilt back will just about make the seam invisible.) For a large piece, I might hang it, add colors to sections, then let (force) them to blend as they meet, then stuff the whole mess in a light dye bath in a 5 gallon bucket. Anybody's guess what the final look will be!

bluefly
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Date: 3/9/13 7:21 AM

I have been thinking of dyeing some fabric. I took the Craftsy class on Sewing with Knits and she dyes all her fabric. She uses purchased organic cotton knit fabric in white, she lists sources,then dyes with products from Dharma. Her method seems doable in a small space with minimal equipment. I love the colors she uses and think it would be neat to try.

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"Let's make the most of this day"
bluefly

Nikki
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Date: 3/9/13 9:34 AM

I live in an apartment in a high-rise building, and do a lot of dyeing of both fabric and fiber. Fabric usually gets dyed in the bathtub in buckets or containers, fiber needs to be heated, so it goes on the stove, in the oven, or the microwave.

If you don't have a lot of space, look into "low water immersion" dyeing. You can easily dye fabrics in small containers this way, especially if you are working with things like t-shirts or smaller pieces of quilting fabrics. Solid colors can be done in the washing machine, works for large yardages too (this is easier with a top loader but doable with a front loader if you have manual control of the cycle).

A few things are toxic (discharging, which gives off really bad fumes) or very messy (natural dyeing large yardages), so these I will do outside. I have a friend who has "craft weekends" of sort on his farm, so I save the messy projects for that.

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mmmmm woooool

goodworks1
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goodworks1  Friend of PR
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In reply to TessKwiltz <<


Date: 3/9/13 11:22 AM

Quote: TessKwiltz

I use Procion dyes and my favorite fabric to dye is Kaufman Pimatex PFD. I used to be able to get it by the bolt from Hancock's of Paducah, but they no longer offer it with a quantity discount, so I don't know what I'm going to do when my current bolt runs out. Fortunately I just opened it, so it'll be a while before I need to look for more.

I'm pretty sure Dharma has the same fabric:
Pimatex
How does the price compare to what you got at Hancocks of Paducah?

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