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.
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….