Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fabric to Dye For? (groan)

I've only purchased a couple of pieces of fabric so far this year; a purchase from one of my favorite internet vendors. The fabrics are fabulous, but one is not quite the color I envisioned (one person's 'off white' is someone else's 'beige'...sure wish I had one of those Pantone color guides!). However, she did say that it was dyeable, so I'm hoping to turn a color that doesn't suit me well into one I love.

However, my dyeing experience has only been with Rit dyes and it has been very discouraging. The dye took unevenly...the fabric had creases as it soaked and those creases became much darker (or much lighter) than the rest of the fabric.

I thought I did it right, but as I couldn't stand there and agitate the fabric to keep the kinks out of it I'm not sure how I could avoid it.

Anyway, I'm looking for advice on how to dye a gorgeous piece of rayon knit that just isn't my color! Any experts out there willing to share? :D


  1. Ugh. I hope this isn't a double post. Just delete the other one, ok? What I was going to say was:

    You can dye the fabric in your washing machine using the Rit dyes. Once the fabric, dyes and water are in the machine, the agitation cycle is perfect for getting the fabric and dye mixed properly. You can just shut off the machine after a while and let it sit. Every once in a while turn the machine back on and let it agitate some more. I have an intermittent agitation cycle that is useful for this sort of thing, it is also the delicate or handwash cycle. If the agitation part of the wash cycle is too short, just restart the cycle at that portion, skipping the rinsing and spinning until you're done.

  2. Oh, I was afraid the dye residue would be a problem in the washer! That's a great solution (groan again)!


  3. Dye residue disappears with a cycle of hot water and bleach. Run 2 cycles if need be and then wash a load of darks first just to be sure! I've had good success this way.

    Good luck! I hope it becomes a color you love.

  4. I've had fabric to dye for over a year and haven't had the nerve to try it. Lisa I've left you an award on my blog . I always enjoy visiting yours and I like your way of showing your work.

  5. What Summerset said!
    And I'd add that you should get the fabric fully wet first, before you put it into the dye bath, and it will take more evenly.
    I like to let the machine agitate for a moment before I add the fabric in order to make sure the dye is fully dissolved.
    We dye in a machine here all the time and, as Miriam says, we run a bleach water load after (I also wipe down the surfaces and edges with a towel dipped in the bleach water).

  6. Oh, that's all very helpful!!! I don't know when I'll get around to dyeing my fabric; first I have to decide what color I need...then find some time...but I'll be using all your tips! Thanks, Ladies!