Saturday, October 22, 2011

Some tips on dying fabric

In case you are wondering, this is part of the headpiece of my son's fox costume
I am almost done with my last costume of the year and I am pleased as punch (besides the frustration of having to go back and fix a major mistake. D'oh!)! My last costume is for my four-year-old son who wanted/agreed to be a fox to fit in with our woodland theme. I was having some major issues trying to find the right color of fabric for my little man's fox so I finally decided to dye some flannel myself. For some reason, even though I paint and am quite familiar with mixing colors, it didn't really occur to me to come up with my own color since fabric dye is so unforgiving. Since I didn't see any fabric dye in the stores that fit my fancy, I hopped on Rit Dye's website and saw that they offer recipes for nearly any color you could want! Hot dog! In case anyone else is working on a project that needs a custom color, here is what I learned:

Go to Rit's website (I haven't checked if any other dye company does this too) and the Colorit Color Formula Guide at the top of the page:

Once there, go down to the bottom of the page and click on the basic color family you are looking for. In my case, it was orange.

When you see a color that you like, click on it and they tell you exactly what dye to buy and how to mix it. I imagine that once you get the idea of your recipe, you can use any brand that has the same basic colors.

Once you get your colors, get your fabric wet with cold water and wring excess water out. From there, I follow the basic guide that Dana gives on her blog, Made of dying your fabric in your sink instead of over the stove. However, I like to start off by boiling water in a large pot and then pouring it into a large bucket or basin in your sink. Add more hot water (as hot as it comes out of your tap) to fill the rest of your basin. Add your colors and mix well.
Add your fabric and mix every ten or so minutes until you get the color you want (in my case, I did it twice because once my fabric dried, it wasn't quite as dark as I wanted the first time). If you are wanting a light color, stick around 'cause the color will finish rather quickly, but if you want something dark, you have time to get other things done while it soaks. Because I was wanting a more muted tone, I only had to dye it for about thirty minutes.

When you get the color you like, take it out, rinse it and pop it in the washer to get out the extra dye. After it dries, you are ready for your project to move forward! Good luck!

****I'll be sharing my son's fox costume next in a couple days. Wish me luck on the finishing touches!
Linked to: Sew Much Ado

1 comment:

Katie said...

It's been years since I've dyed fabric. great tips!


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