Monday, August 28, 2017

Results of learning to dye fabric

I did it! All the fabric has been dyed. The drying of the fabric actually took two days - much longer than the dying process. I guess when they say that you can leave your fabric to dry on the table between sheets of plastic, they mean that you can do this if it's hot outside. I guess a high of 20 C (68 F) and a low of 14 C (57 F) just doesn't cut it!
The fabric on the table didn't dry - it was too cool outside.
The fabrics looked great on the table but only the bottom ones were slightly dry - the rest were still dripping!

Fabric drying in the sun
In mid-morning, I placed plastic sheets on the ground, in the sunlight, and very carefully transferred the fabric from the table to the plastic.

The fabric on the left was originally a white-on-white.
I even had to hang one piece since I didn't have enough plastic! Once the smaller pieces were dry, I was able to rotate them. Within two hours, everything was dry.

A very colourful yard!
I think I was supposed to start by rinsing the fabrics individually to get rid of the excess dye....oops! I put everything in the washing machine with some fixative and two dye catcher sheets. I washed in hot and rinsed in cold - twice. The third time I washed them only in cold - by then the dye catchers were almost white. Since these fabrics will be used for art quilts, I think that this is good enough!

Lots of yummy fabrics to play with now!
My final fabrics are a little brighter than in the pictures. These are some of my favourites! You can see the see-through cotton on the fence. Below are two pieces of the cheese cloth.

Finished hand-dyed cheese cloth and cotton.

I now also have some very lovely pink gardening pants and rags :-)

What I learned

  • Because I was nervous about the whole process, I spent all my time planning the dyeing part. I should have spent a little more time on the details of what to do after it was all dyed!
  • The fabric is lovely, though perhaps a little on the extremely colourful side - nothing subtle this time around.
  • It would be lovely to work with only a couple of colours but with more shades.
  • I'll be checking out the internet to see what fibre artists do with their dyed fabric!
  • I dyed some cheese cloth as well as some rather see-through cotton. These are my favourites! This was not what I expected. 
  • I would love to dye some organza and such...and of course more cheese cloth.
  • Since fall is almost here, the next time I dye fabric will likely be indoors. I plan to make something with my hand-dyed fabric before I dye more, but I think that it's safe to say that I will be doing this again.
  • Thanks to everyone who encouraged me. It was a wonderful learning experience. 

Related links
Posts of my dyeing experience

Linking Parties: Since it's my party and someone has to show up :-)  I'll be linking to the Learning QAL - August Sum Up. I will also be linking to many fun linking parties. Check them out! Monday MakingMain Crush MondayDesign Wall Monday, Linky TuesdayMidweek MakersLet's Bee Social, Needle & Thread Thursday,

Don't forget to plan your September Learning Goal for the Learning QAL. Join in the fun - learn something new, share with the community and maybe even win a prize!


  1. You certainly had fun, and it appears the results were worth it! Thanks for sharing the before, during, and after!

    1. Thanks Susan. I really took your comment of to just do it to heart. I'm really pleased with my results and am actually using some of the fabric for the Art with Fabric!


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