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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > how best to dye fabric ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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how best to dye fabric
rmusic1
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rmusic1
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Date: 5/29/13 12:51 PM

I've never dyed any fabric in my life previously. I've got some cream coloured linen/cotton blend fabric (100% natural fibres). I only get one shot at getting this right, as the supplier does not make it any more.

I have already done a mini test run, by getting a hand wash version of the machine dye I intend to use. The result came out ever so slightly patchy. This may be because I couldnt sum up the energy to stir it for 45(!) minutes.

So, apart from following the instructions to the letter, any tips out there? I'm dyeing it yellow if that helps.

Debbie Lancaster
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Debbie Lancaster  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 2 members like this.
Date: 5/29/13 4:33 PM

The fabric should be pre-washed and damp before you put it in the dye bath. If you didn't prewash it and it wasn't damp, that could account for the patchiness. If you're doing it in a washing machine, you should have the agitator running when you put the fabric in.

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Debbie

rmusic1
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Date: 5/29/13 5:21 PM

it's just come out of the machine. Panic! despite rinsing the fabric under the shower before hand to make it damp, it's come out really uneven. I'm wondering if I should have unfolded it more before hand.

This is what it looks like. Please tell me I can dye it again and it will even out! can't believe after I read the instructions so carefully........

Mishogawear
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Date: 5/29/13 5:44 PM

I'm a professional dyer. What kind of dye are you using?
Wish I would have come on earlier. You can always redo. But the best way to have an even color all over would be to cure the fabric in soda ash and water and use fiber reactive dye applied from a squeeze bottle. This way you can see all the fabric when dying. The dye will adhere to wherever the dye is applied

rmusic1
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In reply to Mishogawear <<


Date: 5/29/13 5:50 PM

I used Dylon. Thank you so much for your help. I was really nervous about doing this and am really sad it's turned out like this. Do you think it is best to use a pre wash to strip it out and then redye?

Nikki
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Date: 5/29/13 6:44 PM

Was the fabric folded when you put it in the bath? One of the pieces in the photo looks like it had been folded into a square, you can see the centers of the squares are pale and the edges are dark.

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Mishogawear
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Date: 5/29/13 7:04 PM

I would use procion dyes. Dyes baths are good for variations in design and solid color if agitated but for uniform color throughout definitely work with a soda ash pre soak and Procion dye applied with squirt bottle. If you do this method, make sure you empty out excess dye from container you are dying in, otherwise it will be streaky from dye pooling where the fabric lays while curing.

No need to strip fabric if you are dying same color.
If you need more info feel free to private me or email me at mishoga@optonline.net
-- Edited on 5/29/13 7:06 PM --

rmusic1
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Date: 5/30/13 2:34 AM

yes, I did put the individual pieces (there were 4 of varying sizes) in folded. I didnt realise it would have such an impact. I thought the washing machine would agitate them enough (fool me).

Good to know I don't have to strip the colour out, I'd rather not damage the fabric if I can avoid it.

If I dye it again, will the paler areas be evened out? I thought I could use one pack (the fabric weighs 2.4 kilos) and this would be enough for half the weight of what I've got, considering some sections have dyed pretty well the full colour.

This has seriously put me off dying things in future! too much risk and stress of something going wrong with inexperience.

rmusic1
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Date: 6/1/13 1:17 PM

well, I thought a brief update was in order. Here's what I tried:

Originally used 2 packets of dye
Added next a further packet to the entire lot of fabric
After contacting Dylon they said it was worth trying the pre wash (to make it a more neutral shade). Waste of money, looked almost the same afterwards
Split fabric in to two loads, added another packet of dye to one of them
Changed tack, made turmeric dye concoction and used a spray bottle to apply in the garden.

All of which has slowly increased the overall intensity, but its still not even. I've given up and gone and bought some new (already dyed yellow) fabric. I am trying very hard not to think how much money I have spent, and focus instead on what I have learned. It has been a bit of a crash course!

If you are curious to see the final look of one of the pieces click here

Debbie Lancaster
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Date: 6/1/13 1:50 PM

I'm sorry to hear you couldn't salvage it! If you're able to wear brown or black, I'd suggest over dyeing it with a really intense dark brown (use Procion dyes, as mishogawear suggested). At least then you'll have something you can use for something else.

------
Debbie

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