Sunday, February 3, 2013

Easy Fabric Dyeing - Part II

Ok, now that we've gotten the hard part out of the way, let's have some fun. First off,  if you haven't read Part I, I suggest you do, then you will understand what's going on here in Part II.

We'll start with mixing up some medium and paint.

You'll need a 20 ounce clean and empty beverage bottle, paint color of your choice, and textile medium. Working next to a sink, take your 20 ounce bottle and add some water to it - maybe a couple of tablespoons (about where my finger is at). 

Shake then open your medium and pour it into the bottle. Add some water and shake it up, you're trying to get all that medium into the bottle. Keep adding water, shaking, and dumping until the medium bottle is cleaned out. Repeat this same procedure for for the paint in this same bottle. 

After pouring in the paint, your dye will look streaked - just cap it and shake well to mix.

Now let's dye.

I had some fabric I dyed green a while ago and put it in my stash for a future project. If you want to dye a large piece like this, just use a large bowl or bin, pour the dye in and submerge your fabric. Leave it in for 20 minutes to half an hour, then wring it out (over the bowl) - pour the leftover dye back in the 20 ounce bottle for another use.

I ironed the fabric to remove any creases. Then I folded the fabric in half and start to fan fold - unlike folding origami, I didn't worry about being precise on my folds. 

I took a straight edged ruler and cut off the ragged edges on both sides.

Starting at the corner, I folded the fabric into a triangle. Turn it over and fold another triangle. Repeat until all folded. Again, I wasn't worried about precision with my folds.

I tried my best to keep the triangular shape. It will get real thick as you get toward the end - use clamps to help you hold it together.

I decided to use the circular acrylic shape - these were bought on Etsy.

I placed the circles where I DIDN'T want any dye - here, I just wanted the corners to be dyed. I sandwiched the fabric between the circles . . . 

Placed clamps tightly in place and set aside.

This part you can do in advance or at this stage. I took a scrap piece of  my working fabric and tested for contrasting colors. 

I liked the dark blue best - I poured it in a disposable cup and worked out of it.

I placed a screen over my sink and using a spray bottle, I spritzed the fabric with water. You get different results whether you dye with dry fabric or wet fabric - I mostly like to wet my fabric before dyeing.

Using a pipette, I applied the dye to the exposed areas of the fabric - the clamped areas will resist the dye. I don't worry about seepage under the acrylic, it will just add to the design.

Being sure to get in the folds of the fabric for an even design.

This is what the fabric looks like after removing the acrylic, you can see where the acrylic was (I did have some seepage). You could at this point open up the fabric a little to see if you like the design. Be careful if you do this - the fabric is very damp, and the darker dye can get on your finger which could transfer to unwanted parts of the fabric. I wash my hands a lot while dyeing.

I decided I wanted the top tip dyed, so I got some large tongue depressors, clamped them on, and applied more dye. 

What it looks like after dyeing.

Here is the finished fabric. You can see that the top tip I dyed was very uneven (that would be the centers of each diamond), so not all of it got dyed. If I didn't dye the top, I would've just gotten and all over diamond pattern.

Here is the stocking pattern I made years ago when I made our family stockings. I placed it on the fabric, cut out 2 pieces and sewed it.

Here is the finished stocking again.

Just to show you other dye patterns, here is the family of stockings - most of the lettering was colored in with gel pens. 

Here are other shirts I dyed recently - ice, pole and tied.

There are many ways you can dye fabric, I've just covered some of the techniques. The Internet has a wealth of information regarding fabric dyeing and like I said previously, you can use the same techniques in dyeing with paints as you could with expensive dyes and additives and it's cheap, cheap, cheap.

Give my tutorial a try and if you help, just ask me, I'll be glad to help where I can.

So, what's the first thing you're going to dye?

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Thanks!

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