Are you looking at your old curtains, or a pile of faded T-shirts and shirts, thinking you want to give them a little color? Many people want to dye clothes at home but are not sure where to start. Dying at home is not difficult and maybe a lot of fun. It’s just an understanding of the basic techniques and tools, and the desire to add more color to your life.
What equipment will I need?
It’s important to keep all your belongings in place before you start, so you don’t end up with colorful paint in your kitchen. Dying is a dirty business and you need to be prepared before you start. For this purpose, it is a good idea to protect your workplace from dirt. Use fairly old paper on the floor and surrounding bench areas. Rubber gloves are essential, such as an old wooden spoon or two, which you will use to shake the dye mixture.
You will also need an old plastic jug or a clean, empty ice cream container to mix the initial dye concentrate. Just remember that each of these will be colored when dyed, so don’t use your favorite wooden spoon, or china serving bowl to mix the dye. The plastic bucket is also convenient so you can move the dripping cloth from the dye solution to the basin.
If you are using hot water dye, you will need access to the stove to heat the dye mixture and move a large container to the dyeing equipment while sitting on the stove. ۔ If you are using a cold water dye, a large bucket or plastic washing tub is sufficient, as you will need to discard the dye instead of heating it.
What is the difference between hot watercolor and cold watercolor?
The main difference is in the color intensity you can get. As its name suggests, hot water coloring requires you to effectively boil the item to color it on the stove. Depending on what you are dyeing, and what color you want a darker color, you can leave the fabric in the dye solution for anything from 10 minutes to an hour and a half.
It’s a good idea to remove the wet object from the dye solution at the end of the process and wait for the boiling water to cool before emptying it if you use the hot water approach. Moving a large, dirty container of boiling water around your kitchen can be dangerous, so keep this safety aspect in mind.
Coldwater dyeing is less messy, and, as you don’t need access to the stove, you can soak the article on your balcony or in your laundry until you get the desired color. Cold watercolors can make some beautiful pastels and yellows, but can’t really add a darker or darker color to the fabric. If you are after this type of effect, you will need to use warm watercolor.
Both types of dyes need to be well mixed in water and before the dyeing substance can be immersed in the solution. Pay close attention to the fixed fixatives on the dye box, as different brands offer different fixatives. Without fixing the solution, the new colored article will quickly fade and look washed out.
What happens after the article is dipped in color?
Once the item is immersed in the dye solution, use your wooden spoon to rotate it gently, so that all its surfaces have a chance to absorb the color evenly. Leave it in the dye until the desired shade is found, remember to stir the object from time to time so that it does not settle in the still layers of the dye material.
When judging the depth of color, keep in mind that the fabric is slightly darker when wet, so when deciding whether or not the item is ready to be removed.
When you are satisfied that the item is the right shade, carefully remove it from the dye solution with your wooden spoon and place it directly into the waiting bucket. Rinse it well in cold running water until the water is clear and hang it until it is dry. In the future, make sure you wash the item separately, as home dyes are never completely colored.
What kind of material can you color?
Commercial colors are most effective on natural fabrics. 100% cotton is the best candidate, as it takes on a uniform and predictable color. However, you can also dye cotton blends and wool, but be very careful to read the manufacturer’s instructions, as some fabrics should not be exposed to extreme heat. The yellower the original color of the fabric, the better the result and the more accurate the final color.
Never try to dye patterned or stained fabric. The original color of the fabric can affect the final color of the painted article, and it is often possible to see the original floral or plaid print with the new color. Stains, too, always appear in the final result. Because the stained part of the fabric starts a different color than the rest of the material, it also has a different color.