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Thread: Has anyone hand-dyed purchased fabric that has already been dyed?

  1. #1
    Senior Member pinkcastle's Avatar
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    Has anyone hand-dyed purchased fabric that has already been dyed?

    I recently bought 3 yards of hand-dyed 108" wide purple backing fabric online. When I received it I was a bit disappointed with the color. I was expecting a more vibrant, deeper color purple. I was wondering if I could dye it to get the color I'm looking for. Has anyone done this sort of thing?

    Here are some questions that have come to mind that I hope you can help me with:

    What type of dye would work best? (I've done a little looking around on the web and the procion dyes look like they would give me results that are vibrant.)

    What do I need to do to prepare this fabric before dyeing?

    What is the best method for dyeing this large piece of fabric?

    How do you make sure it is colorfast?


    My other thought is that if I'm successful and find dyeing fabrics fun, I might want to hand dye my own backings. So where to you find 108+" wide white fabric that works well?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    The process you're describing is called over-dyeing. You can google it and get lots of hits - here's a good video on the subject - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW7Xt6ujDiw

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i do it all the time! i purchase my dyes from Dharma Trading Company
    prewash the fabric with detergent---no fabric softener---soak it in soda ash (follow the instructions for the dye being used) Dharma has very good instructions
    2 books *you may be able to find at a library or somewhere like that*
    that are very informative- good to have are:
    the Dyer's Dictionary and
    Fabric to Dye For
    I use my own dyed fabric pretty much in every quilt i make and quite often start with a fabric that started out something else-
    i have dyed yellow star fabric bright pink-
    i have dyed batiks other colors---i love playing with color
    dyeing fabrics is not difficult- i use a 5=gallon bucket for my soda ash & my dye solution when dyeing very large pieces- then my washing machine- (and no-it does not stain your washing machine)
    visit Dharma's website & read - they tell you what you need & how to go about it- and carry everything you need to have wonderful results ( i have on occassion dyed with plain ole rit dye from the grocery store- the color never really comes out (vibrant) it is more muted- i've not been so happy with the outcome.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Senior Member pinkcastle's Avatar
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    Thanks dunster for the youtube link! I checked it out and actually watching someone do it makes it seem like something I can do.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pinkcastle's Avatar
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    ckcowl - thanks for the great information. I'll definitely check out the books you suggested. I'm starting to feel a little more confident about taking this on. I'm also glad to hear that is doesn't stain your washing machine. Do you use your washing machine to just wash out the dye? And do you add synthrapol in your final wash? Something I read about and wondered if it is necessary. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    I've dyed once and used my washing machine which is a front loader. I put the recommended amount of synthrapol and just washed it once. I also put a color catcher in with it. I want to do widebacks too. I used some bleached and unableached muslin and they both came out nice after I washed them first and then dyed them.
    The Potomac Quilter
    Innova 26 with Lightning Stitch and Autopilot

  7. #7
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    I use my washing machine all the time to wash out the dyes and I use synthrapol for this step. I also recently tried making a white-on-white Chinese coins quilt, then quilted it and then dyed it in the machine. It was a very successful experiment.

  8. #8
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    I love hand dyeing fabric! I have never used synthrapol - I read somewhere that Dove hand dishwashing liquid works. Since Dove is easier to find, and less expensive, I have always used it and never had a problem. I started using the instruction from this site, http://fabricdyeing101.blogspot.com/ . They were free (& comprehensive) when I used them. The free directions are no longer ther but now she has an e-book for sale.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pinkcastle's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm feeling a lot more confident about giving this a try. This may turn out to be a whole new adventure!

  10. #10
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Yes you absolutely can dye the fabric it's called - overdyeing. The best dye to use that I know of is Procion dye from Dharma Trading Company. For a large piece of fabric you can use old rubbermaid totes for soda ash water and dye. I am new to dyeing - but go to Patsy Thompson's blog...she has AMAZING hand dyed fabric that she did herself in this same manner. Good luck!

    Also - there are some great sellers on Etsy for hand dyes if you don't want to do them yourself in the future!
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

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