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Thread: Has anyone died tone-on-tone fabric?

  1. #1
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Has anyone died tone-on-tone fabric?

    I have some white tone-on-one that is just a little too super white. I would like to tone it down (no pun intended!), if I can, to a natural white. Has anyone tried this? I'm thinking of using Rit dye in my front loader. The major questions I have are (1) Will it come out too dark? I just want to tone down the white to something similar to a natural muslin (or even lighter). I do not want tan or brown. (2) Will it be colorfast? Quilts get washed. I won't mind if it lightens somewhat. I've read that Rit dye fades over time. Maybe not a problem, as the worst it could get is its original white-white.

    It's 5 or 6 yards of fabric, so it's not as if I could boil it on the stovetop.

    Anyone with experience out there?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    My goodness, I have never even thought about that. Maybe go check out the choices of dyes, and see if the package has time limits on what shade you want.
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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I know some have tea dyed fabric. you might look that up.

  4. #4
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    The "white" part of the white on white (the design) is usually plastic of some sort and I don't believe that it will take dye. The background fabric, will, however so you may wind up with stark white designs on dark fabric. Just my 2 cents.
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    I have done this, but not just to shade it... I went to a much different colour. I liked the final effect; the printed white stays white, and only the background gets dyed, so it creates a very different look.

    Guessing at answers to your questions:
    (1) How dark it is depends on the amount of dye used, tone of dye used, and length of soaking time. I would do some samples (fat eighths, maybe?) to see how it works out. If you use a brown dye, it will probably be too dark; if you use a tan or lighter dye it's more likely to turn out how you want. Tea dying might be a better way to get the light shade you want.

    (2) In my experience, Rit dye does fade over time. How long it will stay depends on how often you wash it. It's unlikely to fade away completely.

    Good luck with it! I'm excited to see what you end up with.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks everyone! Think I will take a run to Walmart tonight and see if they have the light tan. I have enough of the fabric to try a run in the washing machine with a fat quarter to see how it turns out. What I want is something very, very pale -- just to take the edge off the super white background. A bit of work, but worth it if it turns out the way I want.

    Edit: Oh, and the title of my thread should have been "dyed", not "died". I make more typos as I get older....

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Well, our small Walmart doesn’t have the tan color I want. Will order it online along with the dye fixative they sell.

  8. #8
    Senior Member IceLeopard's Avatar
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    If you want it to be colorfast, *do not* get Rit dye! It *will* fade, and after only about a dozen washes it will be gone. You want a Procion fiber-reactive dye that actually becomes part of the fabric. Dharma Trading Company is a good online source, or if you have a local artists supply store, they may have Jaquard dyes. I have t-shirts dyed 7 years ago with Dharma dyes that have only now started to show signs of fading.
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    I think I would be hesitant to do this in a front loader. They don't use enough water.

    Cari

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    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    Have you tried turning the fabric over? It won't change the color, but it will get rid of the 'glow' from the WOW. I did that with a white with roses and it worked.

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    I lf i were doing this, I would be paranoid that it would dye unevenly, or get too dark while I was trying to get it even. I think I'd cut it into the smallest pieces possible. Then i think instead of tea dying, I'd do it with instant coffee. Easier to replicate the results. Or do a really big batch of really strong tea to use as the dye, diluting it according to a recipe determined by experimenting on those fat q's or 8ths. But before that, I'd call Dharma and ask if they have any advice. You might also thinl abput using gray or black instead of brown, if a cooler rather than warmer color would go better with the colors you are using. But you've probably already considered that, as vlever as you are. It's a little daunting giving advice to some of you. I feel myself getting out on the limb, and it's getting a little "whippy." I sometimes wonder if the first thing the OP thinks after reading my answer is, well duh, but I wouldn't want to skip that one thing that ends up being important. XXOO Patti

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I have dyed tone on tone fabrics many times. I have not however used Rit dye to do it, so have no idea how that will come out. I use fiber reactive dyes from Dharma Trading Company. Prewashed the fabric, with detergent - no fabric softener, then soaked in soda ash. I love the way tone on tones ( especially white on whites) come out. The nice thing about the fiber reactivate dyes is you can decide how long to keep it in the dye solution, control the extent of dyeing. I’ve used my own dyed fabrics for years they have been color fast with very little fading over the years.
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  13. #13
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I was just thinking about you saying you had a front loader. may not be able to dye in that. maybe a large tub?

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    I have dyed tone-on-tone (white) with procion dyes. As "I Love to Quilt" says regarding designs, the little sprigs of flower buds did not dye. This was the effect that I wanted so all was good. That said, the design was more muted compared to an undyed sample and wasn't stark against the now lavender coloured background. I would do a test before committing a whole lot of fabric.

    HettyB

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    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveToQuilt View Post
    The "white" part of the white on white (the design) is usually plastic of some sort and I don't believe that it will take dye. The background fabric, will, however so you may wind up with stark white designs on dark fabric. Just my 2 cents.
    I agree with ILoveToQult. I believe the white plastic design will fade with washing so you might want to try a piece to see if that happens. I once scorched some white-on-white(after block was done) and panicked. I washed it and the scorching washed off so I think over time it will fade anyway.
    Sally

  16. #16
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Others have voiced the concerns I have - not enough water in a front loader, and printed white-on-white won't take the dye.

  17. #17
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Still thinking about it.

    I did find useful information at https://www.ritdye.com/ that told me I could use my front loader. They also have a color formula page that explains how much liquid dye to use in how many gallons of water with how big a load to get the color you want. I figured out the color I want is Coconut Milk, which requires 1 teaspoon of tan in 6 gallons of water to dye a sheet.

    I'm sure the fiber reactive dyes are better, but I need something that is fast and easy. Even the washing machine method is a bit daunting for me since I rarely prewash yardage. I would need to prewash the fabric, follow all the precautions for adding dye to the machine, dry, and iron 5 yards. I have to decide if I dislike the super white that much.

    I have a remnant of another white-on-white fabric that is absolutely perfect, but I've never been able to find more of it. When I place my colored pieces on the "perfect" fabric, it enhances all of the colors. The super-white is okay, but does not have that same effect.

  18. #18
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
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    Yes! and the white print stayed white on the colored background! I'm sure that result will vary with fabric brands.
    Tea or coffee dying is fairly permanent, as those of us who have spilled know! I don't know how you would get an even density in the water of a front loader -- with a top loading machine, the fabric can be added after the concentrated tea or coffee is mixed evenly with the hot water.
    Good luck!
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  19. #19
    Super Member Battle Axe's Avatar
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    When I had the rug business, I would dye many yards in a day. My batches were about 30 yards in each of 3 washing machines. The machines were "neutered", the timer was on a switch were I could bypass the timer and let it wash in the agitation phase endlessly. Then flip the switch and it would run the rest of the cycle. I used Procion Dyes from Dharma Trading Co. out of Calif. I would buy 10 pounds of a color at a time. It was a salt fixing dye, then soda ash. I've since sold the business, looms and all, to a woman who has now had a stroke.

    I would always start with Greige Goods which took the dye well. These dyes were for cotton only and anything else would resist the color.

    Dyeing is not an exact science and caused me many sleepless nights. If it were me, I would keep that too white fabric for the next project and order the correct color on line.

    Marcia
    Last edited by Battle Axe; 03-21-2018 at 02:48 AM.

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    yes I have done that many years ago. It was a child's quilt. I didn't want white tone on tone. Dyed it green with just a one pakage of regular rit dye. I came out great. Was a light green with the tone pattern a lighter green. A new tone on tone look. Washed it in the washing machine with dissolved dye (top loader- not sure about the newer type of machines) . Wash as a regular load. Dried it normally. That quilt has kept it's colour well. I would do it again if the occasion arised.

  21. #21
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I have tea dyed fabrics in the past and they came out very nice. I'm not a fan of Rit dye. I've never had good luck with the colors coming out like I want them to and staying the same.

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