Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Five Easy Dyeing Tips That You Need to Know!

    Often I hear from students that they would love to try dyeing fabric but they think its a long, involved, messy process. Sometimes they think they need very specialized equipment, noxious chemicals and a large space in which work.
    In truth, a table or the top of a washer/dryer and easy access to water are the only necessities. I've been making luscious hand dyed fabrics for many years and tried just about every technique possible and the fact is, you can do a lot with very little!
    Here are some tips to make your dyeing experience fun....and easy!
  1. make a dye concentrate
Instead of making up a dye solution each and every time you want to colour some fabric, mix up your colours in easy, ready to pour concentrates. I mix 8 ounces of water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon dye powder (double for lemon yellow and black) and keep them all in squeeze bottles, ready to go. They'll keep for 4-6 weeks, longer if you refrigerate them.

    2. always have fabric prewashed and ready to dye
That's a no-brainer....buy it, wash it! Its that simple!
    3.  dye threads and fabric together
If you are dyeing fabric, throw in a couple skeins of embroidery floss, some perle cotton or whatever! See how amazingly gorgeous it is??


    4.  make colour gradations
      If one yellow is beautiful, then think about how much better having twenty yellows could be!! Make more, make more! If you are not sure how, then check out my free video workshop here:

        5.  ok, here's the last tip....................make a trip to the dollar store of most of your supplies!
    You will probably need some measuring cups and spoons and maybe a water jug or two. Never use the stuff from your kitchen and the cheapest deals are as close as the dollar store. While you're there you might find some great items for stamping on fabric, some birthday cards and gift wrap, cute hair barrettes for the grand daughter,  new pots for the garden, socks for the neighbor, storage bins for the kitchen and.....well, you get the idea!
    Have a good one!

6 comments:

yarngoddess said...

What kind of dye are you using that needs salt?

Susan Purney Mark said...

I'm using the MX dyes and I find little bit of salt helps with the intensity of the dye.

Anonymous said...

Jan asks
When you say pre-washed ready to dye... do you mean it also needs to be soaked in soda ash? Does soda ash harm the fabric if left in too long before dyeing?

Eileen's Longarm Quilting said...

Thanks, Susan. You've distilled the process down so it's more like preparing to bake something.
p.s. A couple of friends and I got together and tried some soy wax resist with the help of your DVD. Great fun!!!
Eileen

Susan Purney Mark said...

I don't soak in soda ash until in ready to dye the fabric. With cotton you can soda soak and allow it to dry, then store it but definitely would not do that with silk. Soda soaked silk fabrics need to be used right away.

Susan Purney Mark said...

Eileen, so glad that you enjoyed the DVD, thank you for the support.