Firstly, if you are being scientific about this process, weigh your fabric and check the instructions on your dye packet to see how much is the recommended amount for this weight of fabric. This is the quantity that will give you the maximum intensity of colour the dye is capable of achieving in your fabric. If you are after a lesser intensity or a lighter shade then use less dye. The colour you will achieve is dependent on several factors: the quantity of fabric compared to the quantity of dye, the fibre content of your fabric and whether it is a mix of different fibres (different fibres react to and soak up dyes quite differently) and the existing colour of the fabric. All these factors play a part and it is impossible to pin down a definitive result without extensive tests of the sort that the average home-dyer is neither capable nor willing, so without said testing the final colour you will end up with will be a little surprise. Hopefully a beautiful and happy one! though naturally if your fabric is pricey or precious then DO do some testing!
I'm using the leftover piece of cotton from this Clementine top since a girl only needs one piece in this distinctive shade in her wardrobe, and dyeing with iDye in Brown. I also used about half the recommended amount of dye, to maintain the orange-ness.
- Dye-pot. A big big cooking pot, lid not essential but handy, and after you have used it for dyeing, particularly with commercial dyes, then never ever using it again for cooking. I have a big old pot bought cheaply yonks ago, and it has always been The Dye-pot... I store it with a big unavoidable note stuck in the bottom so no one in the household can ever mistake it for a cooking pot.
- Stirrer, I use a handily shaped and sturdy stick from the garden. It is a good one, since it has a twist that enables it to sit on the edge of the pot quite stably. However you can use a dedicated pair of tongs or wooden spoon if you have not located the perfectly shaped stick... and if so I recommend labelling it very clearly that it is not to be ever used for cooking, like your pot.
- Salt. Read your dye packet to see how much is recommended to go with your amount of fabric, but I reckon it never hurts to add a little extra....
- Rubber gloves and apron
- Oh, and the dye, natch! Once I've opened the little packet and used some I seal it as well as possible with tape and store it in a clear screw-lid plastic jar, with the instructions.
- keep a bucket of water and a wet rag handy to deal immediately with any splatters and spills.
Once the salt has dissolved, add the dye and stir it in well. Turn up the heat to get to boiling point.
Once that time is up, remove the fabric, squeezing and wringing out hard, and transfer to a bucket of water. Rinse, wooshing and squeezing out thoroughly a few times. Do this several more times, until it washes clear. I find you can use far less water by very thorough wringing out, several times while washing out in the same rinse.
I did use my leftover iBrown dye... for something else, hehe.
this cardigan? Definitely prefer this fab new colour. Not so much leprechaun-on-St-Patrick's-Day any more, but beautifully fudge-y and sludge-y. Actually almost purple. I call that a win!