Just dye old cloths
  • Hi (and hello Annette! You are so helpful!)

    My question, as I walk finally away from other dye brands, is how to dye towards a color (exactly spruce on this site on the protein dyes) for a cotton fabric. My husband and I are trying to save our clothing. We are not sure how to buy these, but before I go hunting, I would love to learn about how to get a color match.. Where is the chart others speak of? A flip chart?
    I hope to buy some midnight/dark blue/or bright royal blue for him, but he is easy if I need it to mix to find that deep teal/spruce/almost navy green I love! I want to make stained shirts new again, a bag - all cotton and canvas. I am sure the thread maybe poly.. Isn't that a usually case for store bought? He would like to do almost the same and some jeans.

    The other color is rust. I think I found it though..

    Any advice as to what exactly else we need to buy would be awesome!! Thank you!!
  • Hi Mama,

    Thanks for your kind words!
    I suspect you might have seen some of my other posts responding to questions asking for advise on specific colors and my cautions about the difficulty of trying to advise to specific colors, but just in case...Because each of us have our own ideas of what a particular color is (and our computer monitors ALSO have their own 'idea' of what a particular color is) I offer advice of this sort only with the strong suggestion that you test, test, test before dyeing anything you love.
    First off, here is the link to the color mixing chart for Procion MX: http://jacquardproducts.com/assets/jacquard-site/product-pages/dyes/procion-mx/Procion_Color_Mixing_Chart_2012.pdf
    You'll find a suggested recipe for 'blue spruce' in the chart which looks to me like a good place to start, color wise. The teal recipe is very similar, substituting navy for cobalt blue, but I'd start with the blue spruce based on your description above.
    Also, I want to caution you that if you are over dyeing garments and there is any existing color on the garment, that is going to affect your final results.
    You point about the polyester thread on store bought teeshirts (and many other garments) is true - or at least it has certainly been my experience that most are sewn with polyester thread.
    Other items you will want to make sure you have at had for dyeing with Procion MX will be soda ash.

    hope this helps,
    annette
  • I've been dyeing new cotton dishtowels with the beautiful iDye colors. The last few batches have areas where the dye didn't dye. What am I doing wrong? Too much fabric in a batch? Water not hot enough?
    Too hot? I'm also having trouble finding non-iodine salt.
    What is soda ash? Thanks for your help. R
  • Hi Rhonda,

    Glad you are enjoying the iDye colors and bummer that you are having some difficulties!
    There are a couple of things that come to mind - as you mentioned perhaps there is too much fabric in a batch and the fabric isn't able to agitate sufficiently to allow the dye even access to the entire surface. (I'm presuming you are dyeing in the washing machine.) Other factors could be some sort of invisible stain or sizing on the fabric, are you prewashing the fabric? - Factory applied sizings can interfere with the uptake of dye.
    As for water temperature, best results with iDye are achieved with the hottest water possible and particularly with the darker colored dyes you'll see a difference. However, that wouldn't necessarily cause the blotchy results you are experiencing.
    As for non-iodine salt, for some reason I have best luck finding that at the drug store - don't know why that is, but...
    And last but not least, soda ash, aka sodium carbonate, washing soda or sal soda, is a mild alkali used to promote a reaction between reactive dyes (Procion MX, Remazol, etc.) and fabrics.

    Hope this all helps
    annette