Barb asked about overdyeing. That is where you take something that is one color already...like the print fabric that just never 'goes' with anything...but you just had to have...and dyeing another transparent color over the top of it...it changes the color, but the print still shows through.
Take a plain little floral with a light yellow background...cut it into 4 pieces. Leave one as-is. Dye the other with transparent blue...voila...green fabric. Dye the next piece with camel...now you have a yellow piece, a toast colored piece and a green piece ...all the same print. You need a bright, so you can go for a more intense yellow over the top of the pale, or you can put pink over it for a mango color. Now you have 4 different colors in exactly the same print. Comes in handy when you need a repeated pattern, but the fabric manufacturers don't give you one.
I also overdye old pieces of bluejeans and use the denim in projects, like the Kindle covers. The pink and green are overdyed khaki in this purse I made. The zebras are purchased from an outreach program for African women.
Tea dyeing is similar to overdyeing..the tea...or coffee, mutes the brighter shades.
Where would one go about getting these dyes. All I can remember were the envelopes my Mom had of Cushings dyes. And I remember she only used a white enamel pan to place them in. And what did she use white vinegar for? Wow, Melody, my Mom passed in 1987 and I am so reliving these things. A bit teary-eyed but so happy. Thank you...
My Mom is still with me, and at 82, she tells the story of when she came home from school (she went back for her teaching degree in 1970) and found me tie dyeing my bedspread and curtains in her washing machine (I was about 14 at the time) She was NOT impressed. I didn't know till later that the curtains weren't meant to be washed...they fell apart in the washer...
I use Dharma Trading and Pro Dye for all of my dyes. (warning...freeze your credit cards in a block of ice before visiting these links. I am not responsible for the charges incurred!!)
Dharma gets my mail order business and Pro always sets up at the Paducah Quilt Show, so I give them a big chunk then. (I like to support the vendors that come to Paducah)
Both are excellent vendors and I've never had a minute's trouble out of either.
On cotton fabric, I use fiber-reactive dyes. The fabric is soaked in a soda ash/water solution and I mix the dye in squirt bottles. (my hairdresser saves perm solution bottles for me. They work great...and I have a bunch of the clear mustard/ ketchup bottles that you get at Wal Mart for a buck, for larger amounts. I also have a collection of plastic pipettes with a bulb on the end for little areas.
The tied stuff gets squeezed out and blotted with a towel. I can then drip and drizzle the dye where I want it. (for tied items) For the large things, I use an old cheap water bath canner...works perfect and you can usually pick one up at a yard sale for pennies. This works great for old linen tablecloths too...I buy the ones that have yellow spots for almost nothing and overdye them...spiffs them right up.
Oh my!!! They say timing is everything and Norm got word today that the job he applied for is his!!!! After 2 1/3 yrs with only a part time job for a few months...we are over the moon and now I may color it too!!!!!
Thank you so much for your explanations Melody. I AM going to try this. Most likely, I will wait until Fall when I hope most of my sewing obligations have been caught up. Got a lot going on this summer and it is just rushing by. Is there any good reading material you can recommend? I'm really getting the hook!!!!!
melody wrote:Oh...vinegar is a mordant. It helps 'set' the dye.
I use a cup of white vinegar and one or two color-catch sheets (depending on the size) whenever I wash a quilt for the first time for this very reason as I don't pre-wash fabrics. With the quilts I give away, I include one or two color-catch sheets and washing instructions including the vinegar.
Thunder -- you and me, dye date...lol... well, family dye night... ha... I want to try this sooooo much! I use to sun dye t-shirts for the kids but that was about it. Never really thought much about dying fabrics but then again I never thought I would be this heavily into sewing, so ha.
It is cost effective to do this as a group venture. A bit of dye can go a long way.
SHould check w/quilt group & see if others are interested.
Somewhere I have some very good instructions for a beginner. I'll have to dig them up & will gladly email to anyone interested.
That would be wonderful Jean and I would very much appreciate it. I'm fascinated by the thought that I may have found another connection with my Mom. She was so good with a needle and I miss her. This makes her feel close...
Let me get a plan here. If you all would like to do a group project, I'll be glad to get everything together and divided up into individual packets. I'm always ordering from Dharma, so what I'll do is get some primaries and a couple of neutrals just for the 'class.'
Since colors can mixed into an unlimited number of combinations, none of the projects would look exactly alike. I know what to order and how to divide it up, so it will be as inexpensive as it can possibly be to try this. All you all will need is your own fabric and a few household supplies that are common to everyone. The PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric is nice, but I've had excellent results with plain old white cotton...just wash it first, no fabric softener.
How does that sound? We can talk about techniques and the process, and I'll give a basic how-to for using fiber-reactive dyes.
What I'll do is figure up the cost of a 'kit' that I put together. We can decide when to do this and can hold off a bit if you want to, but schedule it for a month, or two months out if that will help everyone get their ducks in a row.
Oh, yeah...we're going to have another Pixel County Fair this year, so start figuring out what you want to enter!
Why don't we try for after the kids go back to school? That way we may be able to work with no interruptions. That is, of course, if all the little ones are in school!!!! I seem to have more ambition when the air is clean and cool than I do this time of year. Besides, so many are on vacations etc. now. Does that work Melody? That also would give time for saving pennies if need be... Just my thoughts.
Sounds fine to me. We can discuss techniques and you all can ask questions. Shoot for sometime after the end of Sept? (I'm hosting a Roundup on Lake Barkley the weekend of the 15th...anyone want to come?)
Most large fabric stores...on-line or otherwise, have it. (Hancock's of Paducah does) If you go with plain white cotton, get a good grade. It doesn't have to be the most expensive, but something you'd actually use. I've seen folks start out with cheap muslin and when they get finished, are upset with themselves for not using better stuff. (been there done that) You won't use it in a project because the fabric is inferior...and you have this great design and color.
I used the white & off-white TOT from JoAnns and had excellent results. SInce I didn't know what to expect, or how it was going to turn out, I didn't wan't to use a lot of a better fabric. I did have a yard of the PDF and got the same results.
The results will probably be about the same, but the fabric may not be up to the standards you have for your project. Don't dye anything you wouldn't use.
You'll think, "well, if I mess it up, it won't be a big expense" and then you'll do great, and have this thin piece of fabric that doesn't go with the rest of the materials.
If you want to really penny pinch, go to a thrift store and get a 100% cotton men's white shirt (not perma-press) and cut it up. You can usually get one for a buck or two and some of the fabric is really nice. (I got 4 Bill Blass XL men's shirts for 25 cents apiece back in the winter...nice fabric!)
Now I'll know what to look for and where to go!!!! Goodwill - watch out!!
I like the idea of getting the materials before hand. Is there any amount you would recommend for us to get to try this?
If it's white I suppose it really doesn't matter as I can Always use it...Should it be perfectly plain or may we use a TOT?
Twisting your arm Judy!!!! We aren't going to be doing this until late Sept. That gives us time to save some pennies. And gives Melody some time to prepare for all our questions. Melody, would you like us to send some $ towards the dyes etc? I'd be happy to...
I have an account with Dharma so it won't be a big deal...and before I order the supplies, everyone will know exactly how much it will cost. I'll try to get something figured this weekend so you'll know how much to plan for.
If ya'll want, we can start with some natural dyes. We've all got plants, and it is cheap.
The only thing about natural vs. synthetic, naturals aren't completely colorfast. They'll fade in the sun and with repeated washings. Using a mordant to set the dye only slows down the process. It is a very vintage look and feel to the fabric however, and would be entirely authentic if you are wanting to reproduce some old 19th century colors. I'd probably make something like a wall hanging, pillow top or table runner instead of a kid's quilt. Items that didn't have rough everyday treatment will be best for keeping your naturals bright. We could even incorporate some flower pounding if you want.
We could get familiar with how coloring fabric works and we could each work with materials available in our backyard or supermarket.
This is an excellent link with a good list of materials and what color each produces. Rather than copy it here, ya'll can just go and look it over. You will each know what you have available in your area. We don't have to do exactly the same thing, but we can work along parallel lines...hey, we might even swap some of our colors...that could be a neat swap!
Mordants are substances that set the dye and make it more permanent. Vinegar, salt and alum are the most common. You'll find alum in the spice section of the supermarket or in the canning and freezing dept. (you make pickles with alum too) In the days before synthetic dyes, people found that these substances were helpful in producing more durable colors. (You don't want to know what they used in Medieval times...*grin*)
LOL okay then I certainly won't ask what they used. Thanks much. I guess you might say I am very interested now with this new idea of using things from my yard. Goodbye some Virginia Creeper!!!! Not today but certainly on my list for the not to distant future.
Hey Melody, if I wanted to just "warm up" the white and black print to something not quite so white, how would I tea dye the fabric?? I don't mind if it's not real even, what kind of tea and how is it done?
I like loose tea...coffee works too. Make sure your fabric is free from any fabric softener.
I make it double strength. 2 teaspoons of tea to 1 cup water, bring to a boil and strain or remove the bags. Squeeze the bags. Wet your fabric and put it in the solution. It will look like it is getting really dark,but most of it will rinse out. Stir the fabric to prevent a mottled look. When it looks two=ice as dark as you think you want it, rinse the fabric in cool water and then soak for 20 minutes in 2 parts vinegar, 1 part water and two heaping tablespoons of uniodized salt. Rinse well, dry and iron as usual. If the fabric is going to be used, rather than something like a wall hanging or decorative pillow, dye will be best. Tea, like all natural dyes is not permanent like the synthetic dyes. They will fade over time.
Melody was wondering if maybe you can give me some advice...
Going to visit my sister and wanted to get all kids together and tye dye t-shirts.
I went to joanns and there is a product called Dylon perm. fabric dye will this work better then the ritz?
Do I still need to soak in soda ash?
I want BRIGHT colors that will stay for long time.
Please any help or suggestions.
Yes, I've used Dylon and it is very good. Rit is pretty bad, but better than nothing. Yes, you'll still need to use the soda ash. If the Dylon doesn't come with any, get the PH-up at a pool supply store. Dylon sometimes comes with little packets of soda ash that are fine to use. The pool chemicals are less powerful, so dissolve about a cup of of in a gallon of warm water. You can then pour it into a bigger container and add another gallon of water to make your soak.
If I'm available when you're doing this, I'll help you over the phone.
Melody thank you soo much.
Let me just see if I have the steps right.
Wash cotton fabric before use.
Soak fabric in soda ash.
Mix dye in squirt bottles.
Put color on fabric.
Let set 15 min.
Do I rinse fabric next or put fabric in vinegar? And for how long?
I know so many questions.
Just trying to get it right.
I let the dye sit on the fabric overnight. Pop the pieces in plastic bags to keep them damp.Your colors are much deeper. I know that the Dylon instructions indicate much less time, but overnight (8 to 10 hours) is best. I've let dye sit on fabric as much as 3 or 4 days.
Rinse in very hot water...I use the washing machine. Let it run through the wash cycle on hot. Add a little Dawn dishwashing liquid to help remove excess. Add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. After that has finished, run through another cycle with plain water. If you still see colored water, run it through a 3rd cycle.
OMG I have longed to dye my own fabric for quilts ... now I have the room but not the time... Joinging hands with psychw2, Thunder and Marion. I can see the 5 gal. buckets lined up out in the yard ...
It will have to stay on my want to do list for new ...
You'd be surprised how little space you need, especially if you do pieces in 1 yd or less in size Once they are tied, they easily fit in a zip-loc bag. I keep dyed pieces in their bags, in an old disposable turkey roster pan (the tinfoil kind) You can pile a bunch of bags in one of those.
Now the piece I did for my nephew's dorm room wall...8' tall by 15' long was a different story...but he was the coolest kid in the dorm!
I've done the graduated dyes in the bags too. I flip them around several times to make sure there are no overdyed or underdyed pockets. I'll see if I can come up with some wall pictures...,that was two computers ago. Korey should have some if I don't.
I cap extra and put it in the fridge (it wipes right up if you spill it...trust me..) I try to use it within a week. It will still set color even a month out, but it isn't as intense. If I have old dye, I usually treat it as a pastel, but you'll get varying degrees of intensity. Don't use it if you are going for something exact...it is fine on tee shirts and fabric that doesn't have to be a specific hue. It is just as color fast as fresh dye, but it doesn't strike with the same intensity. I've not seen much difference in week old dye and fresh, as long as it is refrigerated.
And yes, the zip locs work great and hold well. I've even laid them on my dining room floor (on a piece of plastic for safety) but my kitchen and dining room is a commercial grade composite that absolutely nothing sticks to. (ask me how I know...)
Heat helps speed up the process. You can even microwave them, but I've never done that with cottons. I've microwaved tons of silk scarves, but those use acid dyes. (the dye isn't acid, you use an acid like vinegar to help set it) The fiber-reactive procion dye works on all natural fiber, but the acid dye only works on natural fiber with a protein base. (wool and silk) I like acid dye on silk...the colors are vibrant and intense.
Here's some of my silk scarves, they sell these in the Quilt Museum Gift Shop...these are my 'supernova series'
Sunprints, sure. I'll actually do a bit and take pictures. I'm also thinking of doing an article showing how to use natural dye materials and dyeing the fabric.
No problem on the tie dye thing. It won't mess the materials up at all. I was planning on adding the extra to my stash if there was any left over. I will figure the cost of one kit and if anyone wants to jump in at any point, I'll know how much it will cost...
Several of you were asking about over-dyeing, so here's a great example.
Jean sent me some cute pink fabric with green frogs. It looked nice with the rest of my prints, but when I over-dyed it with just a bit of light gray, it was absolutely perfect. The gray toned it down just a touch and since the other fabrics were more muted, it slid into the slot I needed perfectly. I still needed the bright, but just a shade different. If you don't have them side by side, you'd never know one was dyed.
I can do 3 primaries and black fiber reactive dyes (the kind of dye that did your charms that I sent) for roughly $10.00, including shipping. I can add colors for about 60 cents per unit. This will include enough dye and soda ash to do a couple of yards of fabric (maybe more) using the ice dye or the tie dye. This is the cheapest type of dyeing we can do. You'll need to supply your own fabric, containers, salt and vinegar. The price is rounded up a bit and based on 8 participants, as soon as I have a class together, I'll give you the final total, but the basic kit will be right around $10...and that includes the priority shipping (it is mostly shipping...this stuff is cheap) I suggest the basic kit and you can choose to add other colors, if I have them..at the .60 increments. I would suggest no more than 2 or 3 extras if you're feeling brave. (olive, gray, camel and mauve are all good neutrals to tone and adjust color) Too many and you'll get overwhelmed...baby steps...
What I'll do is divide the dye up into little zip locs and each zip loc will make a pint of full strength dye. You can mix your own colors once you get them liquified.
The sunprint materials will be quite a bit more expensive, so we'll hold off on those for the time being.
Are we ready? Who wants to play?
This is a sunprinted tote I made last week. The local quilt shop had us draw color swatches (from a paint store) out of a bag and you had to use only the colors on your 2 chips. I got blue and green.
Melody, what are the primaries? Red, yellow, blue? I pulled up the Dharma color lists, wow, so many to choose from! I did notice there was an Ivory and Ecru. Are we to use the primaries to mix our own colors, using the black to darken or am I thinking too hard of my old high school art class???? LOL
Primaries for these dyes will be Turquoise, Fuchsia and Lemon Yellow. Those are the recommended primaries and I've found them to be excellent. Add a touch of yellow to the fuchsia and you have true red. Mix the yellow and turquoise to make green. Mix red and green and you have brown. Fuchsia and turquoise makes a nice purple. Make tones with your black... (maroon, navy, rose, olive...) We'll get a lesson in color mixing...oh yeah, everyone will get a packet of 'River Bottom' It is a muddy brown and you won't find it on Dharma's charts. When they have a batch of dye that does not match their chip exactly, they have a naming challenge. Then they sell the newly named dye until it is gone...I won the last one and they sent me a monstrous tub (the winner gets one free) It makes a great 'toner'...as well as a nice brown.
I'm going to make up a pack and take it to the P.O. to see how much it will be to send regular 1st class...it may save us a couple of bucks.
Ok folks, speak up...I'm going to keep the class registration open until Wednesday.
Kona white is great...any good quality white. I've never had any problems using regular white fabric instead of the pricey PFD (prepared for dyeing) Don't get anything that is lesser quality than what you are used to sewing with.
I buy Kona bolt ends of the 108" wide stuff at Hancocks. If there is less than 3 yards on a bolt, they band it up, mark the yardage on it and sell it at 30% off. (one of the perks of living near Paducah)
Well, I had a nice long post all typed up and it went *poof* on me...(so it happens to all of us)
Anyway, I've edited the first post in this thread with everyone's names and will add folks as they sign on. When we get the class created, I'll start a new thread on Thursday for questions and discussions.
Start gathering some squeeze bottles. My hairdresser saves perm solution bottles for me...they're great. Old dish detergent bottles are good, as are sports-drink bottles with a pop up top. Condiment bottles (ketchup type) that you can get at Wal mart for a buck are good too. You'll need some larger mouthed jars or containers to mix dye in...old peanut butter jars or mayo jars are good...I have pint mason jars since I happen to have an excess of those. You'll need clorox for clean up and a little funnel. (if you don't have a little one, I can show you how to make one from tinfoil.) I'll send everyone a pair of exam gloves with their kit too. Rubberbands or twine...I've used both and some type of screen or grate that will fit across your kitchen sink. I use a wire rack from the upper level in my microwave or a roasting grate from my big roasting pan (I never use them for cooking) Anyway, just something that will hold some fabric and let the liquid drip into the sink...a screen or piece of vinyl shelving...A pile of plastic bags like they give you at Wal-mart or the grocery store is also needed. (you'll put the wet fabric in these to 'marinate' overnight'.
sounds like we'll end up with tie-dye outfits/uniforms...LOL I have a cousin that holds an annual tie-dye family outing, they don't do just Tshirts, they do underwear, too! It's funny to see a clothesline of men's tie-dyed 'tidy whities'. They're not just for show either... he wears them!
I have oodles of rubber bands if any need some. My mailman put rubber bands around everything and dumb me, can't see to throw them out. So let me know and I will gladly send some band. I knew I was dropping them in a drawer for a reason other than I am part hoarder! LOL
Here's an example of the grate I use across my sink. This is ice dyeing, but I use the grate for all of my dye projects. The excess drips into the sink and doesn't puddle in the bottom of a container...you get better patterns if your material doesn't sit in a puddle of dye.
I may have to drop out of this, as my computer is not working :( well the monitor is dead, I had borrowed one, but had to give it back...I can occasionally use my sons computer, but he has to be home, and we tend to work opposite shifts...I do not have the money for a new monitor...I do not know at this point when the next time I will be able to get on line?? don't want to have y'all waiting on me...so if it is a timely thing...count me out
If it will be something I can get on whenever, and print directions. then do it on my own...that may work????
The directions will be do it yourself...and you can return to them whenever you like.
I'll start a thread and give step by steps 9with pictures) for mixing, tying, squirting the dye, finishing the fabric and clean up. anyone can refer to them here in this forum at any point...even years from now...
I'll be here to answer questions and offer suggestions, but the instructions should give everyone a good foundation in dyeing.
I've ordered the supplies, but they won't be here at my house till the end of next week...they're moving warehouses... (shoulda ordered last week...I got a note) Anyway, It will be the week of the 24th before I can ship.
After tomorrow, I'll start a thread and start adding images and instructions. Everyone should be familiar with things when their supplies arrive.
Thunder...do you want to stay in? You're more than welcome, since this is something that you can do at any point.
Ok, everyone, I have a total for this. I just got back from the P.O. and they weighed a package with 5 packs of dye, soda ash and gloves. First class to just about anywhere in the country is $2.56, so that saved a bundle off of Priority.
So here is the break down
5 packs of dye @.60 each is 3.00
1/2 cup soda ash 1.00
gloves, envelope & baggies 1.00
Total is $7.56
If you want more than 5 packs of dye, they will be .60 each. I don't think postage will be more than a few cents more as they are practically weightless...the baggies weigh more.
For neutrals besides the black and the brown I'm already sending, I have Camel, Mist Gray and Safari Gray. But...all you have to do is dilute anything and it lightens it. I'll start showing you all how that is done this weekend. I used primaries and black for ages before I bothered to spring for any of the 'fancy' colors.
Thank you so much for doing this. I'll send my check, I'd also like a camel and any gray. Today I went to Christmas Tree Shop and purchased a couple of squeeze bottles. They were 4 ounce bottles for $1 each. My sister has a hair salon and is saving the perm bottles for me. Once you snip the dispensing cap it's open but I think I could use duct tape to keep them spillproof.
I don't even bother to seal them up. I put them in a plastic dish to keep them all together and they go on the top shelf of my refrigerator. Might not be a bad idea to put a dab of tape over the end though...(I'm not that organized...)
Anyone who does not have my address, send me a Dmail. I'll get it right to you.
I think I have everyone matched up with their DG handle, but if you don't mind, be sure to include it.
Tomorrow I'll start a new thread with everyone's name and we'll start getting familiar with what we're going to be doing...anyone is welcome to chat and visit on the thread even if you're not part of the actual 'class'. All quilters need to be familiar with dyeing fabric...and everyone is quite welcome to stop in and visit.
I'll start getting everything packed up with the basics so I'll I'll have to do is pop in whatever extras anyone wants.
When I log on tomorrow morning, I'll finalize the group, so anyone who wants to participate, post here tonight.