I bought some white-on-white ‘Lakehouse Seed Catalog’ fabric from Brenda Pink Castle Fabrics a few weeks ago with the specific intent on dying it. Rossie is experienced in fabric dying, and so she gave me a few tips and answered my questions.
Here is my fabric fresh out of the dryer. If attempting this, you will want to wash it before you use the dye. I purchased dye from Dharma Trading Co., and specifically, I am using the procion dye in turquoise. Their shipping was quite pricey (I paid more in shipping than I did in product), but as far as I can tell, they are the only ones that sell their dye. I was dying a 3-yard cut of fabric. I’m going to tell you exactly what I did just for reference, although the information is up on the Dharma site if you are dying a different amount (the instructions are quite lengthy, so I wrote them down so I could have them in handy access while I was in the middle of coloring the fabric). You can either dye your fabric in the washing machine or bathtub (or some other large container).
-3 yards fabric
-1-1/2 tablespoon procion dye
-4-1/2 gallons water
-4-1/2 cups salt
-1/2 cup soda ash (available from Dharma)
-3 teaspoon calsolene oil (available from Dharma)
Put water in tub. Paste up dye with warm water. Smash with a spoon to make gravy. Add a cup of warm water to make slurry. Add to tub. Pour in non-iodized salt (Morton makes non-iodized salt, as do I’m sure others, which is readily available at the grocery store). Add calsolene oil (the calsolene oil was suggested on the site to make the dye take more evenly in larger pieces; I could possibly have done without it, but I didn’t want to take a chance since I feel that 3 yards is a big cut). Add fabric. Stir gently but frequently for 20 minutes. Add soda ash (dissolve in warm water and add slowly over 15 minutes…do not pour it over the fabric). Then continue stirring for 30-60 minutes (I took mine out after 30 minutes, just because I was tired of sitting there). Use cool running water until it runs clear. Wash in hot water (I threw it in my washing machine).
I let my kids help me stir occasionally, because they like to help. The fabric looked extremely dark in the tub. Since this was my first time dying fabric, I did not know what to expect. I think if I had kept it in longer during the last phase, it might have turned out darker, or perhaps adding more dye can also make the color deeper.
So here are my final results! My first reaction was that it was a bit light, but when I compared it with the fabrics I am using this with (it is going to be the background fabric for a Tula Pink ‘The Birds and the Bees’ quilt and also for a matching body pillow), it really is going to be perfect. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
I have several more applications of dye left in the container (I bought the smallest one), so I may dye some more fabric in future..it was definitely an experience!!