Monday, December 20, 2010

Dye 101

No, I'm not going to try and teach you about dying fabric. I believe I need lessons.

I've dyed lots of things in the past (heck, look at the stains in my sink if you need proof!), but my latest dying project didn't turn out quite how I had hoped.

I wanted to dye reclaimed t-shirts (red and green) and then cut them into strips for strings to tie on my Christmas packages (wrapped in plain brown kraft paper).

When I had them in the dye bath, they looked like great, bright colors of red and green.  After drying, they appeared more like orange and a blah.

But you know what?  I'm going to use them anyway.  When put together, they look a little more festive than orange and blah.

Strips cut - pulling into cord.

Rolled balls of orange and blah cord ready for wrapping!


  1. Dying is an imprecise science, at best, isn't it? I've been having fun with natural dyes of late (esp. papery onion skins) and they really work best on silks and wools...i.e., protein fibers and not plant fibers like cotton. Silk is really the best of all, but I don't find too many 100% silk white blouses on the racks of the Salvation Army! I'm with you -- use those strips anyway and they will still look great!!!

  2. You're right! Dying is really a science - and I never did that well at science! :-) I've always wanted to try working with natural dyes - it always has seemed like a very fun thing to try. Good for you! Have fun with it! I've even wanted to just try it dyeing Easter eggs. Maybe this Easter...

    I'm wrapping tonight - and using those strips! Heck, it will be just fine. It would probably be better if I didn't tell anyone that they were supposed to be different colors - but knowing me, I'll spill the beans with every gift! Ha!