Tuesday, August 26, 2014 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

How To Dye Fabric

I'm hoping my subject line is not too misleading I'm no expert on the subject of dying fabric but I've done it and want to share my experiences.

For a few years I've been making pillows out of men shirts I find at the thrift stores. They are cute and I do well with them. You can find the tutorial here. One day I'm surfing the net and come across someone who also sells the same pillows but dyes the fabric first. I loved the idea and wanted to try it.

So I tried some dye I bought in the supermarket and wasn't too happy with the look. There was missing a vibrancy that I was looking for.  Called my friend Sharon who is a textile artist and she recommended I visit Dharma Trading web site and get their dye.

Dye arrives and as you can see from the picture it comes in a paper packet. Easy, peasy, no fuss, no mess with a dissolvable plastic bag that just goes right into the washer.

One of the dyes I bought was a pumpkin color and that's the one I wanted to do. So I picked out some men's shirts I wanted to dye and also some white linen fabric and got started.

Now I know what you're thinking some of these shirts are of an orange hue already why did I want to redye them. Well..... I wanted a more consistant look from them because I was going to create a collection of pillows and wanted them to look the same but different if you know what I mean. One or two of them really didn't change too much but you be the judge from the after pictures.

Whether you are tea dyeing or fabric dyeing you must first get your fabric wet through and through. So what I did was filled my washer up with hot water for a small load without the dye, dumped my fabrics in, aggitated it for a few seconds then by hand rung them out. Added the packet of dye to same water and some non-iodized salt got that agitated and then added my fabric.

 Pumpkin Dye Water
Use gloves

It's recommended that you agitated your fabrics for about 50 minutes but I think that's subject to how deep you want your color. I did have to keep resetting my washer because 15 minutes is the longest wash cycle I have and for this batch of orange I went about 40 minutes. Make sure you are there to reset before it goes into spin.

So here they are the before and after.  Haven't gotten to the pillow making part yet. So what do you think? Is this something you might like to try? If so give me a holler and let me know how you did or if you have any questions I'll be sure to get back to you.


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