CrazySexyCrafty: Fabric Dyeing

Damn if Brooklyn Decker didn’t totally rock this! On the back, it’s also a cover and she’s wearing the cutest Military jacket. Military style is big for fall this year and I had no intention of joining the trend! Until I saw this cover on the September issue of Women’s Health! Yes, sometimes I do get swayed by the media! I’m not always immune to their very persuasive tactics that they spend alot of money on!

I remember seeing a pack of camo collection tees from Hanes and I knew that those would be perfect for me to make a camo style t-shirt dress. So, I went off the where I saw them to get me a pack.

They didn’t have anymore!

I was so upset! I kicked myself for not buying them when I saw them the first time. I thought they were so cool, but I convinced myself not to get them, because they were a 2XL. The size is not the problem. I always take big t-shirts and cut them to fit me. It was the price. 2XL and 3XL sizes always cost more.

While I was walking around bummed, my inner voice kept saying, “Why don’t you try dyeing?” I beat back the idea for a few minutes, but then I started to realize that it would be a good learning experience, since I’ve never immersion dyed anything before.

Since this was my first time trying this, I went ultra cheap. I do have Procion dyes, but I didn’t want to use them my first time around. I bought a box of Rit Dye in Dark Green. Not exactly the same Forest green color, but I was okay with that.

I got home and got everything together. I didn’t want to dye directly in the washing machine, cause if somebody else’s clothes turned out green accidentally, I would never hear the end of it. So, I devised a bucket/machine method that worked great for me.

Assemble your tools. You’ll need your dye, gloves, a bucket (I always save my cat litter containers. They are so handy for organizing), measuring spoons and a measuring cup used only for dyeing (get one at the dollar store), a face mask, sea salt (I got this at the dollar store too, but forgot it in the pic!) and a broom with a plastic handle.

Wash your t-shirts. No fabric softener. Don’t dry. Put them in your bucket. Run your hot water cycle and let the drum fill up with water about halfway. Dip your measuring cup in several times to transfer the hot water to your bucket. I found this to be the easiest way for me to get hot water. Fill bucket per directions for your dye.

Protect your face and cover your hands. In your measuring cup, mix your dye with water per manufacturer’s instructions. I had to mix the powder dye with water before putting it in the bucket. I dipped my measuring spoons in to get 2 cups and mixed together until dye was dissolved. Add dye, amount of salt and anything else you need per the directions in the bucket.

Mix with your broom handle. My directions said to agitate for thirty minutes. Next time, I’ll do it for much longer, maybe 60-90 minutes. You don’t have to stand over it for that long, just make sure you agitate after some time, like maybe every ten minutes. During the agitation phase, drain your washing machine of the hot water.

When the time is up, squeeze out as much of the dye liquid as possible from your fabric and put it in the washing machine. Run through one cycle with no detergent. Run another cycle with detergent. Dry separately. I covered my bucket with the lid and let the dye liquid cool. I then just pour it out in the backyard.

These didn’t come out too badly. My first experience went pretty well. I wasn’t expecting great results, but everything came out better than I thought. I did notice that when a iron hits the dyed fabric, it changes color, but it goes back to it’s original color when cool. I’ll be washing the dyed shirts separately for a while until I’m sure nothing else will turn green!


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