Dyeing Easter Eggs (opps! I mean fabric)

Happy Easter! Now is the time to dye some eggs but I have been dying fabric instead. I have been experimenting with over-dying fabric. You know the fabric, “what was I thinking when I bought this, was I drunk?” and all that fabric I inherited from Mom, Mom I love you but your favorite colors were not mine. Don’t forget about those dated fabrics, you know the ones, that were bought in the 70’s, 80’s & 90″s. This is really a quick and easy way to re-purpose fabric. I used Rit Dye because it is fast and doesn’t care so much about ph, soda ash, pre-treat, dye activators and the processes used for the good dyes. Some of the fabrics I was using were dark so I decided to remove some color by “discharging” which means soaking it in bleach water. I bleached several fabrics with a variety of results. I have been playing with bleach products for other purposes, every time I do it I learn more. I have these buckets that I used for dying and I tossed some of the darker or really ugly fabrics in the tubs of bleach water. I checked on them about every 15 minutes, took some out and let some stay longer. Some stubborn ones got to spend the night in the tub, interestingly they were not any different in the morning. So, I learned, fabrics that are heavily printed or have metalic ink really don’t care about bleach. In the morning I treated all of the fabric with bleach stop and then washed the fabrics.
Many colors discharged to pink, even if they started as other colors.

Now to the dying.
First off I picked 3 boxes of dye, fuchsia, green and turquoise. I wanted to see what the different fabrics would do. I tore the fabrics in to 3 parts to have some of each in each color. I used other fabrics other than the bleached ones also. The white on white fabrics were really interesting.
I took 4 cups of boiling water and poured it into a tub. Dissolved the dye in the hot water and then added hot tap water, so that I had about a gallon. Then put the fabric into the tub. Paint sticks work great for this. I then added a little more water and stirred them a bit. I purposely did it this way because I wanted a variation in the color. If you want it more solid you would separate each fabric and dye them separately in a larger water bath or in the washing machine. I unfolded most of the pieces so it was a more crinkle or modeled look.
When I was done with one color I did the same for the other 2 colors. By the time I was done with the third color I checked the first color and decided it was dark enough and rinsed them in warm water to get rid of the extra dye and threw them back in the bucket. The fabric probably soaked about a half hour.

Posted in Discharge, Dyeing, Tutorials.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: » Overdye projects janpopa

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