January 24, 2013

Dyed Clothes

Linen blouse over t-shirt and 2 knit scarves
I like to dye stuff. I've been dying stuff since I took textile art classes as a teenager. I've been a second-hand-store fanatic since high school, thus second-hand clothes. My kids clothes were often over-dyed second-hand clothes. One lady told me my young kiddos were dressed European-style. I'm guessing it was all the bright deep colors I dyed rather than the pastels that dominated the styles long ago.

So when I hunt for treasures, I'm not so interested in the colors. I look for style and then fabric composition - polyesters/ acrylics won't dye. I also get dyeable clothing and material from Dharma Trading Company (lots of great tutorials). In fact I've got an order ready to complete since Monte's geology partner is coming next week and is hoping for more dyed t-shirts and socks.

A favorite book
I start by having everything prewashed and damp. Then soak in a soda ash/ salt mixture in a 5 gallon bucket I keep at the ready in my greenhouse by the sink.  The solution proportions are: 1 gallon hot water to dissolve 1/2 cup of salt and 1/3 cup of soda ash. This can keep indefinitely. Let the damp stuff soak for at least 15 minutes. Dye molecules attach to this quickly - called "striking". I almost always dye now using what Jane calls "Low-water method" rather than a huge amount of dye water. Depending upon what I'm dying quantity amount I either make up 8-16 oz squirt bottles, but more typically a qt container of dye, using only 1 tsp-1 Tb of dye.

Squeeze/ wring out the soaked articles and then scrunch, fold, pleat or make rings. I rarely rubber-band or tye (excepting when over-dyeing a 2nd or 3rd time).

Stainless Steel table, in my greenhouse - Dawson found for me at a Yard Sale


Scrunching socks

Then put scrunched socks in plastic bin

Pleating linen blouse

Pleating center and scrunching 2 ends of blouse

Choosing dye colors

Socks, T-shirts, Linen blouse ready to dye


Dye mixed up in quart containers

Pouring on dye

Poured dye to puddle

Stacking so not a lot of air exposure to sit overnight (or 3 hours at least)

Rinsed and washed, soda ash soaked and ready for 2nd dye of dark blues
Same dyes - Linen took the dyes darker

T-shirt for Monte and matching socks

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