Bed Sheets?
  • Hi there, I'd like to try my hand at tie-dyeing a set of bed sheets, but have not seen it mentioned here or on any of the other tie-dye web sites I've visited. Has anyone ever done it, or have an opinion about whether sheets are too large to get a good result with?

    Thanks in advance for any help, and thanks for this forum. It's very interesting and informative!

    Cindy
  • Lots of people have dyed 100% cotton sheets. Look at the beautiful hand-dyed tie-dyed sheets sold by Wahmpee! Of course big things are more work than small things, and they take a lot of dye, but the results are highly worthwhile.

    The main problem is that the permanent-press finishes used on most new sheets can interfere with the absorption of the dye. Pre-scour as hard as you can, using very hot water, laundry detergent or Synthrapol, and extra soda ash (which rinses away and is therefore no substitute for the soda ash in the tie-dyeing recipe). Pre-scouring will not remove much of the permanent-press finish but it helps a little. Some dyers like to buy used linens from hotels since hundreds of launderings will have worn off the finishes. You can buy resin-free sheets from the Vermont Country Store (they're not treated with formaldehyde like most sheets!), but they're not cheap. Dharma used to sell them but no longer does.

    You can weigh your sheets so you know how much dye to use, as a rough guide. One pound of cotton is about two adult t-shirts, so for a four-pound sheet set, say, you would need as much dye as you would usually use to dye eight shirts.

    Use Procion MX dye or a good tie-dye kit that contains fiber reactive dyes (not Rit!).

    Paula