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Tips & Techniques > Why it helps to use color remover before dyeing fabric

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Posted by: Vintage Joan

About Vintage Joan star
ON Canada
Member since: 7/16/07
Reviews: 26 (tips: 10)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 19 people
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Posted on: 6/25/09 2:19 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 11 people   
I learned this one the hard way. If you're dyeing over a color, it helps to first remove enough of the manufacturer's dye that you get down to the original base tones of the fabric.

In one case recently, the print of the fabric I was dyeing stayed a yucky mud green-brown no matter what I did to cover it. So I used color remover (NOT bleach, which can damage the fabric -- use the kind of color remover that comes in a box in the fabric dye section). It turns out that underneath, the print of my fabric is a light yucky yellow-greenish brown; no wonder I couldn't mask it or get it to go away. But knowing this, I can work WITH the fabric's undertones instead of going crazy trying to cover them up. (In this case I'll avoid dyeing the fabric with anything that has even a hint of red in it, because red and green are complementary colors, and complementary colors mixed together make muddy brown.)

Hope this helps someone. :)

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katie lynne said... (8/1/09 7:11 PM) Reply
Great to know this! Just when I'm about to do my first dyeing too...thanks a bunch.
ClaireF in CA said... (6/29/09 4:10 PM) Reply
Never dyed anthing, but have been interested. This tip will certainly be helpful in the future! Thanks!
Jerry P said... (6/28/09 2:00 AM) Reply
wow - great tip. Thanks for sharing that.
Patzee said... (6/26/09 2:00 PM) Reply
Huh. Thanks!
Kirstenw said... (6/26/09 10:34 AM) Reply
Helps someone, it has done more than that, thank you. I had no idea about what happens to complimentary colours. How often I had muddy colours resulting.
granny geek said... (6/26/09 0:30 AM) Reply
Thank you for this tip. I am fascinated with the dying process but have so much to learn. It is an exciting medium.
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