Saturday, January 15, 2011

how to dye

a Tutorial on how to dye 
 you can dye doilys, cotton, wool, fabrics etc  & the principal is all the same no matter what you dyeing
{for eg: to dye doilys just follow directions below as the same applies to what i have dyed which is cotton yarn}

as you may all be using different dyeing products to me i shall give you a run down on the dyeing basics that i use for  all the different Hot Water dyes

hot water dyes require you to boil the items in the diluted dye for up to a max of 1hr 30mins
- i use the boil method as i prefer the deeper colour but you may find this not right for what you are wanting OR the size of what you are dyeing!!
Cold water dyes are much easier to use BUT you do not get the intense or dark colours BUT they are awesome for pastel shades!!

Boil Technique......what u need:
hot water dye
large saucepan with lid {get an old heavy based one from an op shop}
white vinegar {IF you are dyeing an unnatural material then add one cup per large pot}
heat source...i dye outside using a Camp Butane burner!!
cheap pot holder
Rubber Gloves!!

-put on your gloves or you will have stained hands!!
-follow directions on your packet in regard to dilution of dye but make sure you will have enough diluted dye to cover your items - if using a powder dye make sure it is all dissolved in the water before you add any items or you will get dark flecks on your finished product
-bring to the boil
-drop your items in the boiling dye but do not overcrowd - these items need to be able to move freely or you will end up with an uneven dye
-put lid on & boil for the time on the packet {longer the boil the deeper the colour] BUT Dont forget to STIR pot periodically...some do require you to stir constantly!!!
-strain into large strainer & then squeeze out excess colour back into pot {in between colours wash out your pot & utensils or you will get different colour splotches on your items}
-rinse and then wash the items & then rinse again until water clear - i hand wash them in an old tub
-hang out to dry

if mixing your own colours then just get your primary colours and have a blast mixing!!

these can make so many colours and vary the amount of water for variations in shade of colour.
red/blue = = = green

any questions feel free to ask ......... ps..there is some answers to q's below in comment section :P

happy dyeing & smiles,
trace xo


  1. wow, very inspiring. maybe one day i'll do this. can you please recommend a particular dye brand that you love using.

    is your back feeling better?

  2. Great tutorial trace,, love the retro enamel pot you use... Now I see why your crochet blankets are so colourful : )
    I do have one question??? I have some old crochet lacy table cloths and runners I would like to dye.. Do you cut them up first or after they have been dyed..

  3. Julie the dyeing wont fray them at all but you will get fraying thru the washing/rinsing process SO i recommend cutting them only down to a size that is managable to dye....once dyed and washed then cut into the individual pieces xo

    Elaine you can use any dyes as i have found most brands ok from Dylon thru to Rit {spotlight & supermarkets}...they are easy to get a good range of colours but if you want to spend more money then i have had success with Tintex. It is trial and error as all brands have their plus & minus.


  4. would you recommend dying using a washing machine?

  5. Elaine i would for sure use a top loader for dyeing if you had an old one that u used just for dyeing!!!
    Cause you will not get all the dye out of your machine - you will be surprised what the dye will stick to and the tubs i use to rinse & wash are all stained!!
    I have an old twin tub washing machine that i will get out of the shed & then will test out the washing machine method but my preference will always be boiling just because that is where you get the vivid colours.


  6. Oh & read labels before purchasing as some will need you to add a Fixative {soda ash] to set the dye.

    ALSO check what the dye is ment for as some will NOT dye unless it is a Cellulose cotton, silk, linen & some animal fibers