Dork of Dye

Last weekend I spent some quality time with my washing machine. I dyed two batches of bamboo jersey for a custom order that I am working on. I grabbed my camera and decided to snap a few pictures of the process.

**Disclaimer**
I am in no way a dye master nor do I claim to be. 🙂 There really is no precise method to my madness. I tend to shake things up a bit and change my variables because I am curious as to how it effects the final outcome. I’m what you call a dump and dye kind of gal. I don’t measure the dye which is a big no no. So if I ever had to recreate an exact shade, well I’m pretty much screwed!

Step 1: Rounding Up the Supplies
Here I have my soda ash which sets the color, synthrapol a professional textile detergent, my dye fixative, fabric softener specially formulated for dyed fabrics, salt, gloves, face mask and of course the star of the show…procion dye in a lovely Olive Drab color.

Step 2: Adding the salt
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Yes, I am totally aware of how much of a dork I am! 🙂

Step 3: Adding the Dye
I use procion dyes because it bonds with the fiber at a molecular level, becoming chemically part of the fabric. I love how the dye in no way looks anything remotely close to the actual shade I am attempting to achieve.

Most often people mix the dye into a paste, then add more water until it becomes a slurry and then add it to the water…not me baby. Here I am oh so carefully *measuring* out the dye! 🙂

And remember…Safety First!

Step 4: Agitating the Dye Bath


Step 5: Adding the Fabric


Step 6: Soda Ash
This and the salt I *kind of* measure. Soda Ash tends to cake up once water is added so you really have to mix it up good. It is used to raise the ph of the water.

Step 7: Agitate, Soak, Repeat, Agitate, Soak, Repeat, Agitate, Soak, Repeat…
This goes on for hours folks!!! Usually I remember to have a timer attached to my person but every once in a while I put it down and forget to clip it back on. Then I hear the buzzer going off and panic shoots though me as I franticly run through the house trying not to loose my dye bath down the drain…which sad to say I’ve done! Total Pisser!

Step 8: Wash, Rinse, Repeat
In this step I use synthrapol, which pulls out the remaining loose dye and helps to prevent back staining. Then I add the dye fixative and fabric softener. The final product….

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Dork of Dye

  1. I am so glad my blog could be of help! And don’t worry I’ve been dying for several years and still have problems getting dye lots to match!!

  2. I dyed my first piece of fabric today with the help of your blog! It turned out great but dont ask me to dye the same color again..lol.Thanks for posting this!

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