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Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to Dye Fabric {with your washing machine}

Why would anyone possibly want to dye fabric?? I get for making your own clothes, or maybe quilting, or sewing, or something else that this girl doesn't do. But seriously - I never thought I would be purchasing fabric dye - using it - and loving it. But I did. To make a DIY Baby Wonka Bar Costume. Click the link to read all about that little Halloween chocolatey adventure! I needed a brown baby nightgown, but that kind of didn't exist either. Anything I found was too patterned or way too pricey. ENTER: FABRIC DYE. I ordered a white, cotton baby nightgown off Amazon for $13 {plus free shipping through Amazon Prime}, plus the $3 bottle of fabric dye and my project is costing me less than $20. And it REALLY WAS EASY! The fabric dye instructions are clear and, if you follow them, you won't fail. Oops. I didn't follow them the first time and, yep, I failed. Turns out - fabric dye does not like polyester. So don't do it. Don't try. Don't think you'll be the magic exception, because you won't be, like I wasn't. Just stick with the approved fabrics. CLICK HERE for a link to the FAQ section of Rit Dye's website. It was super helpful and answered any questions I had! I only used RIT Dye, because it is sold at Joanns, so easy to obtain that first errr second bottle of dye.

  • Fabric dye
  • Fabric
  • Washing machine {I used my washing machine, but you can do it by hand!}
  • Dr Pepper {yep, a total necessity for the wait time during washing}

 The Fun Part
  • Set the temperature to wash HOT and rinse COLD.
  • Set the cycle to wash twice and rinse once. My washing machine has an 'auto soak' setting, so it basically washes it for a long time, then rinses once. If yours doesn't have this setting, just watch for when the wash cycle finishes, then RESET to wash again.
  • Start the water running. Wait until it gets about half full, then add the fabric dye. I used the entire bottle, just to be sure, and I knew I wouldn't need to save it for any reason. The link above to the FAQ section of RIT Dye gives details on how much to use depending on what you're dying.
  • The fabric needs to be unfolded and damp before adding to the dye. This is super important! I didn't unfold my fabric on one item and it came out splotchy! I just use the running water to dampen my fabric.
  • Once your fabric is damp and unfolded, add to your lovely dyed water.
  • Sit back - drink that DP - and wait for the magic to happen.
That's it! If you have to reset your washing machine after the first wash part, remember to pay attention, so you don't miss it. I hang my fabric to dry. The End!

SOOO easy, right?? I can't wait to try other fabrics for other projects. Fabric dye has kind of opened up my mind to a whole new world of color. Don't let not finding the right color of fabric or clothing item for your project stop you from fulfilling your chocolatey Wonka-y dreams.

"We are the music makers...and we are the dreamer of dreams." - Willy Wonka


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