Monday, 18 July 2011
DIY Fabric Dying
Whether it's faded black clothes or other drab linens, fabric dying at home in your own top loading washing machine is a great way to add some new life to old material. Bed sheets, curtains, pillow cases, tote bags, clothes, shoes, you name it. If it's fabric you can probably dye it. My mom used to do our clothes all the time. It was like getting a whole new wardrobe!
What? You've never tried?? It's soooo easy! As long as you know a few tips and tricks.
Click on the post for complete instructions!
Rit powdered dye at the grocery store or drug store around where the shoe polish is. I found liquid Rit dye at Michaels craft store. If you check the Michaels website, they almost always have a 40% off coupon you can print and use.
A few things to keep in mind; if you want the colour to be very intense, you may want to use two boxes of powder, or just use the liquid (it's more intense). Especially if you are dying black. Also, if you are dying your fabric a totally different colour then it is originally, be prepared for it to not turn out the exact colour of the dye. I'm using purple dye on grey, dark blue, green and tan fabric. I'm expecting them to turn out anywhere from purple to varying browns and I'm not even sure if the green will take as I think the pattern is screen printed on, but we'll see! To get the colour on the box or bottle, use fabric that is close to the same colour to begin with or white. In reality though, it's always a bit of a guess as to what the final outcome will be, so you need to be ok with that.
Here comes the dying part!
The longer the agitation cycle, the richer the colour. If you want the colour to be very intense, before the washer starts to drain and rinse, set it back to go through the agitation cycle again and let it go through completion (rinse, spin etc). Make sure the final rinse cycle is cold.
If you have used a dark colour dye, you may want to do an extra rinse and add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Vinegar will help set the colour, keep it from running and act as a bit of a natural fabric softener. The fabric will not smell like vinegar afterwards, I promise! Hang or lay your fabric to dry.
Run a quick empty wash cycle through your machine with some detergent just to make sure there is no dye remaining in the tub. You may also need to wipe down the inside of the lid and top of the wash basin. I find the powder is messier then the liquid in this regard. If you clean up properly, no one will ever know you dyed fabric in the machine.
Here are my results!
Rit also has a neat colour formula guide you can access on their website to help you create or mix that perfect shade. They also have some further dying techniques if you are interested.
Look out Ikea sofa slipcover.... I'm coming for you next!