Technique Tuesdays: Fabric Dying

August 17, 2010

I have saved myself a lot of money by learning how to do this. Often when sewing I'll have to get a small piece of fabric that is a very specific color. Recently I needed fold over elastic and I needed it that day. The only fold over elastic I could find in the store was in black and white. Rather than buying some online and paying for shipping and waiting for over a week for it to come in the mail I bought some fabric dye and made my own in the perfect shade. For a FANTASTIC color guide for mixing RIT colors look here. 

Plus, people will be super impressed when you tell someone you 'hand dyed' it. It just so sounds so much more artsy and creative!

Another thing I forgot to mention in the video is that if your fabric is not as saturated as you'd like try letting it dry completely then re-dye. This definitely has worked for me. Another neat idea that I'll be trying soon is tea dying for an antique look! I can't wait to show you that one.

Top photo courtesy of Divânia Nogueira.

26 {comments}:

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I can't wait to take a look at tea dying! Meanwhile, I might have to give dying a try.

Katydid said... Best Blogger Tips

I was so excited to see your post! I've tried dyeing items before with RIT dye, but afterwards, the fabric isn't a soft or even worse, the color will rub off/run when wet.

Thanks for any help!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

I recently started dying. As of this past weekend. I loved it. I do need to work on my saturation and the length of time it "steeps" if you will. I can't wait to venture out and try more things!

Ash said... Best Blogger Tips

loved.. I'm going to HAVE to do this.

Banhannas said... Best Blogger Tips

I did fabric dyeing when I was in college for my major. So I squealed when I saw your dyeing tutorial.
In response to Katydid, here are some possible solutions:
-Introduce heat to the dye solution. This causes the dye molecules to enter deeply into the fabric.
-Add salt to the dye solution, it will attract the molecule to the fabric.
-Always rinse vigorously after each dyeing, unreacted dyes are still hanging out at the surface. Then, repeat dye sessions to achieve the right shade that you desire.

Holly Storm said... Best Blogger Tips

I have been wanting so much to try out these liquid dyes and also some bleaching techniques, but have so much on my plate right now! Thanks for the video!

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

That was great - thanks for taking the time to do that.

I have to share that my 3 & 4yo daughters were watching this with me, and my 3yo said, "Mustard isn't supposed to be BROWN!" LOL

Banhannas said... Best Blogger Tips

Sorry for posting again but I forgot to mention I really loved your dyeing tutorial! The part where you experimented with green and yellow was really innovative. =0D

Chas said... Best Blogger Tips

I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it! I'm definitely an amateur at sewing and your blog gives me so much inspiration. I especially love your Thrift Store Thursdays posts!

MikaMale said... Best Blogger Tips

fantastic!!!I agree that's all this wonderfull hand dying sounds so much more artsy and creative, because it's true !!! :D

Hermione J. Schwartz said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for the dye tutorial. Lots of helpful tips. I would also like to recommend starting with a different color base. An off white or even tan fabric will help produce deep, rich, jewel colors without so much dye.

Are you able to reuse the dye solutions? When I dye yarn I usually make up big batches (2-4 cups) or dye and then just use a couple tablespoons and keep the dye in the fridge. Granted, this is with food safe dyes. I don't know if that makes a difference.

Thanks! =]

drea_dear said... Best Blogger Tips

I've done coffee/tea dyeing (baking in the oven to set it) and wine dyeing of stitchable fabric (for handwork), but I've been afraid to try the Rit dyes. Thanks for doing this.

suzanne antique lover said... Best Blogger Tips

Im loving your blog and will try it,, thanks!

just chic said... Best Blogger Tips

I dye the Easter eggs with dried onion flakes, it may work also on fabrics- I've never tried it. The eggs get a maroon color, pretty neat

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I was actually planning to try this on a dress I never wear because the color is not flattering. Talk about perfect timing. I'll let you know how it goes.

evie said... Best Blogger Tips

i will definitely be trying this! i've been tea dying and coffee dying for a year or so now, and i love the look of both. coffee is my favorite.

Ashley Doll said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm eager to see how the tea-dying goes!

Crafty Cavy said... Best Blogger Tips

I have used coffee and tea to dye white lingerie so it doesn't show through sheer or pale fabrics. It is important to keep the items moving in the dye-bath (OK, saucepan) so there aren't concentrations of colour in some parts and gaps in others. Trimmings (like bows) often take up the colour differently from the main body of the garment.

Adventures in Dressmaking said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, you are ambitious!! When I've dyed clothing before, every time I wash the garment it sheds some color onto everything it was washed with. This can be very frustrating! It scared me off of dyeing almost altogether, although I've heard some brands of dye are better than others. I do like tea- and coffee-dyeing, though, and my mom once made a historic 1850's replica dress for a customer dyed with black walnut shells to get a black color without synthetics!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for the really helpful video! I bought some dye so I could dye my elastic awhile ago but haven't gotten around to it because I didn't know where to start.

Does the color bleed when you wash it? I noticed that you just took the fabric swatches out of the dye water, do you need to rinse it and stuff? or is it good to go if you let it dry?

Christina said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm loving all of your tutorials! They're so clear on how to do everything. I'm going to have to try to dye my fabrics now!

I would love if you could do a tutorial on adding pockets to a dress. I don't know why but I always end up messing it up or they look to bulky...

Ginger said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for this video, I have had some of the same dye around for AGES, but have not used it yet. This really inspires me to just jump in and experiment.

aprilspiral said... Best Blogger Tips

Great ideas! Dyeing has changed my whole outlook on altering thrift store finds. I've used iDye with some success and black teatoo! can't wait to see your tea techniques.

Tara C. Wheeler said... Best Blogger Tips

Cool!!! Tea dying is awesome...grown up having tea-dyed socks, diaper covers/panties, hose, etc. because cream/beige was never available. Now that I'm a mom, my little princess has just the right shades of accessories too. :-)

Liz Stanley said... Best Blogger Tips

oh i really want to try this. been loving your blog lately!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I love your tutorials, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why you don't get a tripod so you can use two hands...and why are you using a screwdriver to stir your dyes???

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