Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Fabric Dyeing For Beginners

I've been seeing all of these cross stitchers dyeing their own fabrics with wonderful results, so I wanted to give it a try. I already attempted coffee/tea dyeing and talked about that right here in my blog. But the many colors of Rit Dye were calling me.

I started with Peacock Green, Royal Purple, Sunshine Orange, and Teal. Please understand that I'm a beginner at dyeing and haven't yet attempted the blending of colors. I tend to start out slow and figure out my limitations with a project like this. Therefore, think simplicity.

Purple was the first in this experiment. I used 28 count Monaco fabric, and did a few different dyeing times to get some varied results. I mixed the dye with warm water and some salt. The salt part isn't in the dyeing instructions on the bottle, but I have heard that salt can help to set the color.
I ended up with three different shades after dyeing them 5, 10, and 15 minutes. Also, the colors are slightly darker in real life than you see in the bottom photo. The top photo shows the fabric wet, and the bottom pieces are dry. I was very happy with the mottling I achieved, especially in the largest piece of fabric.

Next up were the green, orange, and teal.
I used both Jobelan and Monaco for these. The orange was dyed on a pale yellow color Jobelan. The Monaco took the dye better and that resulted in a darker fabric. The teal is next to the orange. And the other color? The one that looks blue? Well, that's the Peacock Green. Yes, you read this right - green. I don't know what happened! Maybe I didn't shake the bottle enough, or it could have been a mismarked bottle. But it was a happy accident because I like the color, kind of a purply blue.
This photo shows the fabrics dry.

So fabric dyeing was a good experience, and yes, I would do it again. Maybe some multi-colored fabric is in my future. All of these fabrics will be good for future cross stitch projects. A few tips:
--I used a plastic tablecloth to protect my countertops. Dollar store tablecloths are perfect for this.
--I used a plastic storage container for the dyeing solution. Just one of those storage things that   you can buy at Wal-Mart.
--Get some plastic gloves unless you like blue hands. Or purple.
--To get the mottling effect, scrunch your fabric up in different areas before putting it into the dye.
--Wear old clothes.

Let me know if you have any questions. Keep in mind that I am no expert at this, but it really was a fun project. Thanks for visiting today!


  1. Good for you Cathy! This is something I have never done yet. This looks great! :)

  2. It looks a lot of fun Cathy and I love the results you achieved! Christine x

  3. Your fabric looks great Cathy. I'm still not brave enough to try.


  4. Lovely results! I keep thinking I'll try to do this but I'm too scared....yours turned out wonderfully.

  5. The colors turned out nice.
    Have fun with them!

  6. Looks like you had fun and achieved and learnt a lot from your first go! I enjoyed reading the results of your experiment! I hope you can find something fun to stitch on them in the future :)

  7. You did a fantastic job for your first time, what beautiful colours!
    I've only done tea dyeing, but this looks like fun. Thanks for the tips too.

  8. They look great! Congrats, this "to-do" project is on my bucket list so I appreciate the tips! Can't wait to see what you stitch on them.

  9. Your fabrics look great, Cathy!
    It’s nice to be able to dye the fabric to the colour you want ..... just hard to know what the finished colour will be like! I’m intending to dye some fabric for a Halloween piece for next year, so it was very useful to see how the colours look when dry too.
    I hope you will find something to stitch on one of your samples soon.

  10. Cathy, you did a beautiful job. I have always wanted to try dying fabric, you made it look so easy, I might just have to add it to my list of projects. Not like I don’t have enough things to do already. :)

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