Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dyes FAbric

By Marjorie J McDonald

Fabric preparation. If you have not dyed the fabric you are using before and do not really want to take a chance of getting disheartening results you may want to prewash i.e. Scour the fabric first. Some fabrics are treated with finishes which make it troublesome for the dye to penetrate the fibers. I have dyed multiple amounts of yards of fabric just about always using ordinary white or unbleached quilter's cotton and haven't had a problem. If you find the fabric label PDF that means prepared for dyeing, you know you have the right kind to use.

Using fabrics that are prepared for dyeing is the best place to start. Scouring fabric in the washer uses one washer and enough dryer cycles for the fabric to be dry or you can air dry the fabric. Use one tablespoon of New Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent or similar product OR one little spoon of Synthropol and an optional little spoon of soda ash per 1-2 yards of fabric. Open up the fabric fully to make sure the soap can fully penetrate it. This soap removes any sizing or finishes in the fabric that may repress the dyes.

Then decide what size pieces of fabric you would like for the fabric dyes finished projects you want to use your dyed fabrics in. That might be for applique, pieced quilting or for quilted garments. The piece size before dyeing will give you what you need to start the project. I typically make garments so I use 1 yard pieces in a five range gradation from dark to light. Same colors of dye in more to less color saturation. I find this quite satisfying for my one-of-a-kind line of garments.

Then the numerous mixes of the color strengths can be used based on the project I'm working on and what it must be the most visually pleasing in the design elements on the finished clothing piece. Infrequently I use 2 yard pieces if I want the finished garment to be a longer length but have found over the time I have been dyeing the fabric for my garments the 1 yard pieces often are the easiest to dye and work with and work the best for my unique clothing styles.

When I do rag weaving I use the 1 yard pieces and cut the fabric into narrow strips that I'm able to then weave with to create the final fabric that I cut up and stitch together. It creates a gorgeous fabric that's comfortable to wear in addition to being lovely. Because the original fabric has been washed in the dyeing process it also makes these rag woven garments easy to care for when cleaning is needed.

About the Author:

No comments: