Dyeing Day

My usual carefully executed technique: small pieces of fabric, with some skeins of thread, into plastic bags with a few tablespoons of diluted dye, wait a bit and see what happens.  I rinse and dry the plastic bags afterwards; you can reuse them many times if you get the strong resealable freezer-type ones.
above: selection of cotton and silk threads, some space-dyed in an old paint tray.
below: silk dupion, organza and chiffon. 
But (probably) the best thing about dyeing small pieces of fabric, especially bits that have been cut from old clothes where the cut is along the bias, is the delightful edges that emerge from the washing machine after the final rinse:
Enjoy the colours – and the edges – of your weekend.
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16 Responses to Dyeing Day

  1. @home says:

    They look really wonderful and inspiring, love the pinky coloured one, can't wait to see what you do with them. Have a nice weekend.

  2. maggi21 says:

    Lovely pieces. I'm just taking a coffee break in the middle of a mega dyeing session – ideal weather for it as it is too hot to garden.

  3. nocton4 says:

    wow, wonderful colours,lovely x

  4. arlee says:

    WOW what a candy shop those are! i used to be afrayed of frayed edges but now they keep me in stitches

  5. Quilt Rat says:

    what delicious one of a kind bits you have created. Fabulous!!!!

  6. Judy Martin says:

    beautiful colours Karen.

  7. Sandra says:

    Lovely, lovely colors Karen. I am a beginner dyer, what type of dye do you use in your little bags ?? I've used the Rit dye & microwave method and love it – I think I'm sorta ready to experiment/try some different type(s) of dyes and your method sounds easy, fun and with a fantastic turn-out : ) thanks for sharing your wonderful talents : )Blessings, Sandra in AZ

  8. Karen Turner says:

    Sandra, these are procion. I make up three pots of dye: red, yellow and blue, 1-2 tsp dye powder in each pot diluted with about 500ml of water. Then I put about 12-16 tbsp of diluted dye (4 tbsp yellow, 8 blue, for example) in a bag and add fabric that has been soaking in water with a cupful of washing soda added. I left these in bags for a couple of hours before rinsing and washing.I've heard of rit but have never used them. I don't have a microwave, so have never tried that either.

  9. Sandra says:

    Thank sooo much Karen, you truly are kind : ) have been wanting to try procion dye but it all sounds so "chemical" to me but I will try your method, doesn't sound sooo scary, ha : ) regards to rit dye, it reallly is fun and easy too. do you get the Quilting Arts Mag. ?? if so, looook at Dec/Jan 2009, issue 36, page(s) 60-64. let me know if you do not by e-mail(twofriends@npgcable.com) and I'll see what we can do : ) thanks again, you are most kind : )Blessings, Sandra in AZ

  10. Fabulous! I just got my first order of dye from Dharma and have been nervous about starting. I'm so glad to hear of this method as it sounds much more like my style than what I've been reading about. I will check out your other dye posts too. Your colors are just gorgeous! What kinds of threads are you starting with?

  11. Barbara says:

    Hi Karen,Thank you so much for sharing this … I know very little about dyeing (although I can paint cloth). This is something I think I could manage especially with the bags without being too overwhelmed … and the threads are beautiful!Have a great weekend,Barbara

  12. Karen Turner says:

    Well, Barbara, the bags certainly help keep things tidy and contained.Kristin, I replied on the flickr threads photo. Good luck 🙂

  13. karen..i drool.finally, f i n a l l y , being ableto be with the cloth for the wholeentire blessed day today, i realize that i simply am going to have to create my own cloth. andwouldn't you know, i arrive here and you have just the recipe andjust the method and those oh sobeautiful examples. you are great!thank you!

  14. Karen Turner says:

    Grace, you are kind :-)Email me if you need more direction, although there are loads of online tutorials if you google 'procion plastic bag dye method' or something similar. There are probably you-tube videos on the subject too. Good luck, and look forward to seeing what you make! x

  15. twhIch aye says:

    wowww… those colors look like you could eat them they are so lovely!

  16. Victoria says:


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