Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fabric Dyeing 101

Recently I went on a shopping spree.  In my very own closet!!  I decided to go through my closet, sort of like a spring cleaning, and was surprised by all the things I had way in the back that I had forgotten all about.  Things that can totally be revived this season with just a few minor adjustments.

Stay tuned for future posts on other projects I will be tackling with my needle and thread in hand.

First up though was a simple Dye-Job to bring drab back to fab.

Here are my step-by-step instructions to dyeing fabric.  I used a 100% Cotton White Button-Down Shirt with Embroidered Flowers on it and decided to give it a make-over.  I chose a Dark Green almost Emerald-like Color to really make the embroidered flowers POP!

Start by wearing something that you don't mind getting dye on just in case there is some splatter or other mishap while you are working.

Materials Needed:
I did this on my stove top rather then using the washing machine.  So you'll need a large stock pot, rubber gloves, dye, salt, something to stir with and plastic bags for the removal of the item.
Large Stock Pot

Other Materials

First, fill the pot with water and pour some salt in to help the fabric really soak up all the dye and bring water to a boil.  There is no right amount of salt.  Just eyeball it.

Next, while the water is boiling, add your dye.  I used powdered dye.  One package will dye 3 lbs of fabric.  I used about 2/3 of the packet.  I wanted the color to be really rich.  If using the liquid dye, one bottle will dye 3 lbs of fabric.  Depending on how rich you want the color will determine how much you put in your pot or washing machine.

Give that a stir to make sure all the dye is dissolved and fully incorporated into the water and add your piece.  Make sure it is fully covered.

Stir item

Make sure it is fully covered

I let this sit for about 30-40 minutes.  I wanted the color to be very deep on this shirt so the longer the soak, the better.  You can use your judgement on how long to leave the item in the solution for depending on the hue you are looking to achieve and the type of fabric you are using. 

Then, carefully remove the item using the plastic bag.  You don't want any splatter.

Shirt in the plastic bag
I brought it immediately to the bathtub to rinse off the excess dye, and then I hung it on the curtain rod to drip dry in the tub for a bit before throwing it in the dryer.

And that's it!

Here is the before and after.

Before - Drab
After - Fab!


Anonymous said...

Wow, the shirt really did go from Drab to Fab. I love that Dark Green Color. I've been wanting to try this myself was afraid to ruin it. Thanks for your east step-by-step direction!

Anonymous said...