Learning to Dye Fabric

I attended World Quilt New England today in Manchester, Vermont. The Learning to Dye Fabric class taught by Marjan (pronounced Mary-Ann) Kluepfel was inspiring. I was a bit nervous about the class. The items we were supposed to bring were a little overwhelming. Why did we need 3 large trash bags? What would be do with 20 Quart freezer bags?

I went to Walmart and got the stuff.

First off, Marjan is kind, welcoming, and personable. She is also talented in her craft and explains each section of the process clearly.

First we measured out our water. 1 gallon (16 cups) per 2 Tbsp. of soda ash. This is to fix the dye. If you didn’t have soda ash in the water, the dye would probably just rinse out.

We ripped up fat quarters. We put 2 cups of the soda ash mixture into 6 of the 20 lb freezer bags. Once water is in the bag ( 2 cups each), they sort of stand up on their own. Then we added dye to each bag. We were doing a gradation.

After adding the dye, we scrunched up the fabric and put it in the baggies. Then we sealed them. They take 3 hours to “fix”.

We had to wait till we got home to rinse the fabric. Once you rinse it you immediately put it in water – the washing machine – with (special soap). I didn’t have the soap yet, so just used regular detergent. Once you’ve rinsed the fabric, all of it can go in the washing machine together, no matter what color as it’s been “fixed.”

I was really happy with the results and look forward to dying more fabric!