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Fabric Dyeing

Thanks to Anne Peters, she has started to teach me how to dye fabric.  On May 13, she showed me how to bucket dye. This produces an even colour all over the fabric.   I can’t remember the name of the colours right now, but they ended up to be quite similar. 

My first time dyeing fabric
Fabric dye by myself, Bucket Method. Two different reds.

I am excited to get into fabric dyeing.  I have been watching Color By Accident, by Ann Johnston.  She has developed some very interesting techniques that I am planning on using.   She got some very good results and I hope to get something similar.

Anne gave me the following instructions for our first session:


I think we can keep to about 1 hour sessions.  After your dye concentrates are mixed up, the sessions will be about 1 hour unless you are dyeing solids or near solids.  Those sessions will be about 1.5 hours and we will add the fixative to your bucket of dye.  Then you stir and stir.
For tray dyeing we will soak the fabric in the soda ash fixative for at least 20 minutes and then we arrange the cloth in the tray and pour over the dye.

Method 1 - dyeing in the bucket.  No waiting time.  You stir for an hour and then remove from the dye bath.  You take the fabric home and rinse it out immediately.
Method 2 - dyeing in the tray.  The fabric and dye must batch for 24 to 48 hours at a nice warm temperature.  Then you take it home and begin rinsing out the dye and soda ash.   

How to wash out the dye:
1. rinse in cold water to remove the soda ash.  Soak in cold water overnight to loosen most of the dye that didn't bond with the fibers.
2.  Keep changing your cold water, agitate,  and soak for several hours until the water is mostly clear of dye.
3.  Change to hot water - as hot as possible and use New Dawn soap.  Agitate and squeeze and after about 5 minutes rinse out with cold water and soak in cold water again.  Never leave your fabric in hot water to soak. 
4.  Keep up the cold soaks and hot water soapy washes until your rinse water is clear of dye.  When in doubt iron your fabric between 2 layers of white cotton.  If any dye is transferred to the white cotton, you have not removed all the dye.  Go back to long cold soaks and then hot washes with soap. Unattached red dye is particularly difficult to remove. 

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