Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dyeing cloth

Hello everyone!

It has been a while since I posted here. I have been busy experimenting. One of them is dyeing cloth.

Sometimes life is funny and throws curve balls at you (or in my case, too many lemons.) I went to my favorite store and got some more fabric for a line of what I think is a must in any dolly wardrobe. More on that later. I got white, which is wonderful but then I ended up washing it with red, and it got stuck with pink.

Frustrated at how quickly this particular fabric took to any color (and resistance to have it removed) I just decided that hey... I can just dye this fabric to another color: black! That was the thought anyway.

So... I got 2 packages of Ritz powder dye. There are many ways to dye fabric, but since I have the stand up washing machine I decided to dye it over the kitchen sink which is made out of stainless steel.

It started off as this. The hottest water tap is only 115*F, which was just lukewarm at most. You need HOT water to dye cloth, so I had to boil some water and pour that on. I think it was around 140*F if you want to be technical.

... and then it turns to this once I mix the hot dye into the water and mix it up. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble as the witches would say. I stirred this mess until I am pretty much tired of this mess, around 30 minutes.

As you can see it didn't take in the dye much. It looks more like dark blue in this shot.

... but when you wash it, it looks like oatmeal gray! Ignore the spot that looks like it is pink in the middle. The dye was even throughout.

This is a comparison between the dark gray I brought in the store (on the right) and the newly dyed gray (on the left). I like it. It will be used up that is for sure. I don't like collecting things and leaving it to the dust. I will use it somewhere. Just you wait!

But... I know a lot of you would say: Why didn't it turn black?

My answer to this question is: because this cloth is not made out of cotton. It is a poly blend with rayon, so it didn't take to the store bought dye. I am sure if I really want to there are ways to dye this kind of fabric at home but at this point I am just happy the color is nice enough. I hope there are more white fabric to be had though. I like white too.

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