28 Apr 2011

How to: dye your clothes

(a way to bring a little colour into your preloved clothes)

* First choose your dye; this could be powder (as seen above), liquid concentrate, natural extraction or even spices like saffron or turmeric or beetroots. I choose powder because we came across these old ones we found hiding in a box.

*If you buy commercial dye there will be instructions on how to use it (hopefully) - and specifically what weight of fabric it can dye and how to approach different kinds fabrics.

*Next weigh the items you wish to dye - they could be clothes, bedding, fabric, lace, woollens. Its a good idea for them to be clean.

*Then wet all the items and ring out till damp. Have rubber gloves, a stirring implement that can get dye on it, sink and steel bowl at the ready.

*In a steel or glass bowl mix powdered dye with boiling water so it turns into a concentrate. My dye indicated it needed 500ml. Good idea to get those gloves on now and an apron if you don't want to dye the clothes you are wearing also :)
*Pour concentrate into a large stainless steel pot and fill with water so items that you will be dyeing will be fully submerged. Add salt (I added 2 teaspoons).
*Bring dye to the boil. Then add garments one at a time being careful not to twist them up (they should be unbuttoned) - reduce heat to simmer and stir garments constantly for 20 minutes.

*Transfer garments to a sink and rinse out in cold water until the water runs clear. Wash gently with warm soapy water to get out any remaining dye and rinse again.

*Notice how my three items dyed differently even though they were all white - this is because they each were different fabrics; polyester, rayon and cotton. I love the surprise of not knowing the colour of things until the very end - but please be wary that your items may not come out the way you expected.
*Wring out garments well and hang in a shady spot to dry.

And there you have it...

Its really not so difficult or scary. In all the times I have dyed fabric the colour has spread evenly. That being said I've only tried using commercial dyes. I'd like to give natural ones a go someday soon. If you'd like to see my previous dyeing adventures have a look here and here and here.

5 comments:

  1. beautiful!
    tumeric is a wonderful natural dye~

    i love dying goodies~ i'm hoping to do a grey scarf here a lovely shade of pink here soon with some tea flowers~ :)

    Lots of love~!

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  2. mmm turmeric is good for so many things!

    and I'm looking forward to seeing your tea flower dyeing adventures :)

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  3. Oh thanks for the idea! I have a lovely 100% wool jumper which I JUST CAN'T WEAR with a 4yr old as he manages to get it dirty every time and it is so hard to get the marks out of. I am going to to dye it! Brilliant.

    I love your blog.

    Mim

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  4. How beautiful (our) cardigan looks in yellow. I should die mine. Dad's mum used to die her own wool using beetroots and gum leaves etc.

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