Monday, 27 July 2009

Dyeing Day

Yesterday I had fun dyeing samples to show my quilt group on Tuesday ready for my workshop in September. I will be showing them several ways of dyeing including dyeing in plastic cups which is a great way to get a rainbow of fabrics quickly and easily.

Here's what I do:

I use measuring spoons for making up the dyes and solutions because it's easier than weighing. Equipment is cheap and cheerful from the supermarket. For spooning the dye into the cups and mixing I use disposable picnic teaspoons.

I use white cotton fabric e.g. sheeting and tear each metre into 9 pieces just over 12" square.

Wearing a dust mask and rubber gloves mix one level teaspoon of dye with 100ml warm water. I used 3 colours of procion dye - Royal Blue, Scarlett Red and Golden Yellow from Fibrecrafts. Once the dyes are mixed you can take off the mask.

Mix 90ml of table salt with 1 litre of hot water and 45 ml soda ash to 1 litre warm water then mix these together in a 2 litre plastic jug.

I use disposable plastic cups (7oz) in a cat litter tray. I add soda and salt solution to half fill each of 12 cups. Then add 4 disposable teaspoonsfull of dye to each cup and add the fabric. I use these combinations:

4Red, 3Red+1Yellow, 2R+2Y, 1R+3Y
4Yellow, 3Y+1Blue, 2Y+2B, 1Y+3B
4Blue, 3B+1R, 2B+2R, 1B+3R

So here is everything in the cups:

I just leave these to sit for 2-3 hours then rinse the fabric in cold water and put into the washing machine for a 40 degree wash, dry and iron. This gives marbled fabrics which I love. If you like less marbling use more liquid and stir the fabric for a few minutes before leaving to stand. Easy isn't it!

Note: I adapted this dyeing method from a several sources. Here's one site with more dye recipes:
Helen Deighan's book 'Dyeing in Plastic Bags' is my dyeing bible!