Tweaking my dyeing process

Here’s the three reds I’m dyeing.

???????????????????????????????There’s not a huge difference, but hopefully enough.

  • Figure yardage of white muslin for each color.
  • Cut amount of fabric needed for each color and write the color number for the formula in the corner with a permanent marker.
  • Weigh each piece.
  • Pick the RIT Dye color formula, such as:

Warm Red#500
2 tsp. tangerine
1 tsp. scarlet
1 cup water
1 oz. washed white muslin

Multiply the base formula by the weight of fabric:

X 10 oz.=20 tsp./6 2/3 Tb. tangerine
X 10 oz.=10 tsp./3 1/3 Tb. scarlet
X 10 oz.= 10 cups of water

This is the low-water immersion method and will produce a mottled effect. For a more even color I double the adjusted formula:

13 1/3 Tb. tangerine
6 2/3 Tb. scarlet
20 cups water

  • Put the dye bath in a container.

This time I decided to invest in a stainless steel pot from Wal-Mart for just $9. It holds 12 quarts.

???????????????????????????????This way I can keep the water hot. Before, I was using plastic containers, but the water from the tap, which should be at least 140°F, was cooling off too quickly. Microwaving the dye bath is an option, but again, it cooled too quickly for me.

The other things I did differently were to add more salt to aid intensity of the color, add laundry detergent to aid dye distribution, and let the fabric soak in the dye bath for 30 minutes. It can be left up to one hour.

  • ???????????????????????????????
  • Rinse fabric in cool water for just a couple of minutes.
  • Soak fabric in RIT Dye fixative according to bottle directions.

???????????????????????????????I have a nice deep, utility sink next to the laundry room. There needs to be enough water that the fabric moves freely, and the water needs to be at least 140°F. It should only take twenty minutes to soak the dyed fabric in the fixative, but I went with soaking it for 24 hours instead of rinsing the fabric in cool water until the water ran clear. That takes a lot of water. I’ll also mention that I stir or readjust the fabric occasionally.

  • Launder fabric in cold with regular detergent and dry.

???????????????????????????????The picture isn’t a good representation of the colors. The samples are darker because they weren’t laundered, but I do think I’ll redye the two on the left and right. I’ll double the dye but not the water. So, the dye bath for #500, for example, as compared to above, will be

1 1/2 cups + 2 Tb tangerine
3/4 cups + 1 1/3 Tb scarlet
20 cups water

I’ll have to wait until Wednesday to get more dye, because that’s when I’ll be going to the Big City. Hopefully, Thursday will be dye day, and Friday will be show and tell.

Thanks for being here,
Barbara

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