February 1, 2013

Dyed T-shirts and Matching Socks

T-Shirt pleated and clothespinned soda ash soaked - poured on Cobalt blue dye - and bamboo socks
I posted earlier about ordering more stuff to dye for Monte's geologist partner Stan - who always asks for more T-shirts and bamboo socks. He lives in AZ, so when he visits, I like to gift him with more. I get my dyeables and dyes from Dharma Trading Company. And as I said in the earlier post, I overdye lots of second-hand clothes.

In the other post I gave Jane Dunnewold's soda ash solution proportions. Since that mixture was almost gone I added more to my 5-gallon bucket I keep in my greenhouse. I realized I usually do another 'recipe' - 1 cup soda ash (and 1/2 cup salt - kinda optional, but I now add it) per 1 gallon of hot water to dissolve. This time I mixed up 3 gallons, so it'll last me awhile. I pre-wash stuff, leaving them damp, before putting in this bucket. I only dyed 2 shirts and matching socks. I left another T-shirt and socks for Monte and sweat pants and socks for me and a long T-shirt for a nightgown, to dye later. I sometimes leave stuff in this for a long time, eventually finding I've got another shirt, or something, I could dye up for me or someone!

Wring out the solution and scrunch, fold, pleat whatever. Place in plastic cups or bins or leave on a tray. Squeeze from squirt bottles or pour dye over. You'd be surprised how much white or undercolor remains when you think you've soaked the material. I love the serendipity of it, tho I do have an idea of what I'm creating since I've done it so much. These clothes were done super fast.

Pleated and clothespinned

The cobalt blue shirt above was pleated and clothespinned and scrunched into a bin, as well as the socks. I mixed up 1 qt of the dye (1 Tb of dye in very warm water to dissolve) and poured it over. Rinsed the container with a bit more water and poured over as well.

Bronze dyed spiraled t-shirt and bamboo socks
This Bronze dyed shirt and socks I just spiraled and put in a bin and poured dye over.

Spiralled t-shirt and socks in bin to pour in dye

The least amount of time to let set is 3 hours. I usually just let it set overnight, in a warm place. Then rinse in warm water and wash several times in washer before drying.

I shouldn't end this without a picture of Stan wearing one of my t-shirts from years ago. A separate design of a serpentinite rock I'd printed is long faded.


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