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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dying to Brown Bag

Ok, so one of my brown bag fabrics was just THE WRONG COLOR for the fabrics I found to go with it so... I decided to dye it.  Originally I thought I would just tea dye it, but I didn't have any tea and didn't feel up to a trip to town.  Instead, I got out my trusty old Dharma fabric dying products.  They really come in handy when you live in a rural area sometimes.

The photo below shows the magazine I order out of (have literally spent hours dreaming in this catalog) and the products needed for dying.  Here are the steps I follow:

1.  Wash the fabric in Synthrapol to remove any excess products that may be on it.  This prepares commercial fabrics to accept the dyes.
2.  Make some chem water to dissolve the dye powders in.  It is made up of urea and water.
3.  Make a soda ash/water mixture to presoak the fabric in so they will accept the dyes.
4.  Dye the fabric in the urea/water/dye powder mixture.  I used Dharma Golden Brown hoping to darken the pink.
5.  Let sit for 24 hours in the dye cup.
6.  Rinse and machine wash in synthrapol again.
7. Wash in Retayne to set the dyes.

These babies DO NOT RUN OR FADE-- wonderful! 

Below is my pink fabric in the dye cup after 24 hours.  It looks much darker then the look I was going for.
Below is a pre-dyed picture of the pink (far right).

Now it is orange/brown.  The fabric really isn't as pretty but it is the right color for my project.

Below is all of my Brown Bag project fabric.  The first 4 on the left were the ones sent to me.  The rest are ones from my stash.  The colors go nicely together (no pink).  The blocks are a UFO that were made approx. 12 years ago.  The photo is a quilt I found on the internet which models the pattern I am making.

DORINDA GIRLS:  do you recognize the fabric on the far right (orange)?  It was one at our first retreat at Marie's that no one else wanted but me.

Brown Bag allows us to purchase one fabric.  I bought the background fabric the blocks are sitting on.  Fun Fun Fun


  1. What a difference the dye makes. Every time you share your dye story I get closer to ordering the stuff and trying it myself. But first, a few more UFO's to finish. You know I love what you are doing with your quilt since I'm addicted to stack and wack. Oh my what a fun quilt in fun colors.

  2. Dying the pink fabric really made it work. Brilliant idea. I can't wait to see your challenge quilt.

  3. Wow, it really turned out a neat color. I like it, and orange is not one of my favorites. And, like Marie, I love your hexagons. I need to do another stack'n whack. If I found something that struck me like the fabric Marie got in St. George, I would be on it in a minute. Just have not found anything to talk to me yet.


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