So I don’t think I’ve posted anything about dyeing recently, other than my post on my first screen printing attempt. Well I picked up some green Tulip “Fabric Dye” in the Walmart clearance section the other day for 50 cents. I can hardly resist anything that costs 50 cents, and it seemed like fun (these little packets of dye normally cost 3 or 4 dollars each – crazy mark up)!
Well I glanced quickly at the back before purchasing it and saw it says it works best on cotton, rayon and silk which are all natural fibers. I guessed it must be fiber reactive, one of my favorite dyes to use since it means I can use it for shibori (the Japanese art of knotting, folding and binding fabric before dyeing to produce beautiful results). Further research suggested I was right that it is a form of fiber reactive dye.
I received this awesome pattern from burdastyle for free a couple months ago and have been waiting to try it. You all know how much I am into hippie chic lately. I decided to whip up the pattern in some bleached linen (a natural fiber made from flax) I had purchased months ago from fabric-store.com on clearance, then dye it in shibori style. (For the record, tie dye is a form of shibori, so this whole project is just a thinly veiled crunchy clothing tutorial.)
- 2.25 yards of linen or natural material (like cotton)
- 100% cotton thread
- Tulip Permanent Fabric Dye
- Rubber Elastics
- 1/4 C salt
- A plastic bucket
- A stirring implement
- Rubber Gloves
- Prepare the tunic – (sew front darts, side seams, shoulder seams, sleeves and set in sleeves). Also prepare the collar and front, but do not attach to the body of the tunic. I also basted along the neck seam since the dye bath washes out the water soluble marker I use.
- I decided to dye the collar and sleeve hems solid green, but shibori the rest of the dress. I chose to try a folding shibori pattern, which I’ve actually never tried before. To do this, accordion fold the fabric the long ways.
- I also used an iron to press the fabric.
- Then accordion fold the length into triangles.
- When you reach the end, secure the fabric with rubber bands.
- Next prepare your dye. This Tulip Fabric dye required me to boil a gallon of water and mix with salt.
- Add the dye in and stir. Make sure your area is completely covered since fiber reactive dye will permanently dye any natural surface (such as wood floors…)
- Once combined add your fabric to the dye and stir continuously for 15 minutes.
- After that, stir periodically for another 45 minutes.
- Wash in cold water until the water runs clear.
- I then hung my pieces to dry.
- Once dry, I finished my tunic neckline, sleeves, and bottom seam following the pattern instructions.
- When complete I threw it in the washing machine on warm with synthrapol to remove any additional dye that had not adhered to the fabric.