Monday, June 14, 2021

Overdying old fabric

I got another box of old fabric from a fellow quilter.  Since our quilt guild is always looking for charity quilts that are appropriate for a man, I decided to overdye most of this box with blue dye.  First, it all had to be washed to get rid of any sizing.  Here is the pile:


YouTube is so great!  Whenever I want to try something new, I always look there first.  Somebody has almost always posted a video on how to do something.  So, when I wanted to learn how to overdye fabric, that was where I went.  So many people have posted videos and almost all of them recommended Procion fiber reactive dyes and soda ash.  I've shopped at Dharma Trading and Blick Art Supplies many times before, and decided to order from Blick since they offered starting kits.  My friend also loaned me her dying supplies.  I ended up using navy blue, royal blue, turquoise and black in different mixtures.  The Dollar store was a good place to shop for dye containers cheaply and I purchased 5 dye tubs, measuring cups, rubber gloves, and squirt tubes.  I repurposed a gallon jug and a few quart sizes pop containers.

The process was fairly simple.  Wet your fabric.  Dissolve the dye powder in the plastic cups (and mix with urea if needed).  Dissolve the soda ash with water in the gallon jug.    Scrunch the fabric in the dye tub.  Dilute the dye concentrate with water.  Pour the dye over the fabric and manipulate.  Wait 15 minutes.  Pour the diluted soda ash over the fabric and manipulate again.  Let it sit for one hour.  Rinse the fabric thoroughly to release the excess dye.  Wash the fabric in hot water with Synthropol.  Dry and iron.  

Of course, I failed to take pictures through the entire process!  Ugh.  Well, anyway, here is the finished pile of fabric. 

I found the book "Color by Accident" on low-water immersion dyeing immensely helpful.  The book was written and published by Ann Johnston of Lake Oswego, Oregon.

I like the end results, don't you?

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