Dyeing (No, NOT Dying!) - The First Attempt

Have you ever been just dying to dye? Well I bought some fiber reactive dyes recently, and I've been rather anxious to try them out. My guinea pig batch was four test subjects pulled from the donate pile in a dye bath of "orange crush." The orange crush dye bath didn't look like a vat of soda; rather, it looked like a vat of blood. My daughter walked through the mudroom and commented, "Who did you kill?" Anyway...

My four pieces were not white, but they were all light, neutral colors. They were all cotton (the jeans on the top right had a bit of spandex in them). The piece that turned out the best was this crochet cardigan from Eddie Bauer. It came out basically amazing in the perfect type 4 orange. I am rather excited about wearing it!

The piece that came out second best was these Ralph Lauren capris. The stitching did not take the dye (polyester), so it is now bright white contrast-y looking. The capris came out a very nice, bright perfect type 4 orange with just a bit of stippling here and there -- almost a perfect dye job.
The last two pieces didn't fair quite as well. I had a cotton sweater from Talbots and jeans from Coldwater Creek. The cotton sweater didn't come out quite as vibrantly as I would have liked, and the color was fairly mottled. I may keep it around the house or I may not. It was destined for the DI anyway, so no great loss.

The jeans did not turn out well at all.
I have a few theories.
First, I think I needed to make a bigger dye bath. Next time I will use nine gallons instead of six and just let the items soak longer. The items were a little squished in there, and I see that the lighter textured items fared better--moved around better, probably, when I stirred.
Second, the jeans had some spandex (99% cotton 1% spandex) in them, and perhaps that had something to do with it? Anyway, the color wasn't very vibrant, and it had a lot of stippling in it.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice Deneé! I'm getting ready to do my own T4 dye batch here pretty soon too. Thanks for the inspiration!