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Message Board > Creative Sewing > To dye or not to dye ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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To dye or not to dye
Should I attempt to dye this fabric or send it back?
paulakiss
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paulakiss  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/8/13 11:07 PM

I received some fabric from fabric.com by mistake. I ordered 8 yds a medium weight cream knit fabric to make several cardigans for family.... Instead, I received 8 yds of this:
Sheer Cotton Blend Thermal White
They are out of the fabric I originally ordered and since I used a 30% off coupon, I'm not going to find as good a deal on a comparable fabric. I don't like white and neither does my sis or Mom plus it is pretty sheer... So, I was thinking I could still use it if I doubled up on the fabric for the cardigans (or I could use it for some lounge wear for myself) if I could dye it another color.
But I know next to nothing about dyeing fabric. Here are my questions:
1. Would it even take dye being 50% polyester?
If you think it would take the color:
1. I had a friend who use to dye fabric in her washing machine. Is that possible? Or would the bathtub be better?
2. How time consuming would it be for all or half of the 8 yds?

Or should I just go ahead and send it back? Or even see if someone here could use it? Anyone have an opinion? Thanks in advance for any input!

Elona
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In reply to paulakiss <<
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Date: 4/9/13 3:13 AM

Actually, I think your fabric is nifty and unique. Personally, I would keep it.

The first thing to know, though, is that since it is 50% cotton, there is a reasonable chance that it will shrink up and become less sheer when washed and dried. From a garment-sewing point of view, that would be a good thing, right? Myself, I'd measure and cut off a precise eight-inch square, throw it into a warm wash and dry, then re-measure to see what happened.

Second, yes, you can probably dye this fabric, and do it in a top loading washing machine, too. I do this with dylon dyes pretty often. It is easy and fun, especially if you like a little adventure. NB: Do not waste your time with RIT dyes. They are not permanent.

There are a few things to be aware of:

1. If you are using Dylon for natural fabrics, the dye will only be taken up by the cotton portion of your fabric. The finished color may be lighter or slightly different from what you expect.

2. Conversely, If you are using a dye for synthetic fabrics, the cotton in your fabric may not absorb the dye. Again, this is not a bad thing, just something to be aware of.

3. When using dyes, you have to start with clean fabric, so washing and drying your interesting stuff beforehand is something you will have to do anyhow.

4. Dyeing with these packets is done by weight: You weigh your clean, dry fabric, and use the number of packets described in the instructions. Eight yards would be very difficult to handle or get an even dye job with. I would break it up.

So, in general, here is what I would do: I would check the shrinkage factor with a sample, and then I would cut off the amount needed for one or two BIG tees, allowing for shrinkage. I would wash and dry that length, then weigh it, and take myself to my nearest Joann's or Michael's (they usually have Dylon), choose among the pretty colors available, and go home and give it a try.
-- Edited on 4/9/13 3:15 AM --

paulakiss
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In reply to Elona <<


Date: 4/10/13 1:17 PM

Thank you so very much Elona! I greatly appreciate your advice! I went ahead and cut/washed/dryed an 8x8" square and there was very little shrinkage like maybe 1/16" or less and no pilling! And the fabric is a little less see through, as if washing and drying it fluffed up the fibers. I guess this stuff is pretty good!
I'm going to try the dylon dye this weekend. THanks again!

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