Best dye to use
  • My project I am currently working on is a Rag Quilt (100% cotton Flannel) for our Master Room bed. But because of the limited amount of Flannel in the colors I am using (Black & cream/tea dyed/ecru) I have been looking into what I can make to compliment the fabric I have found and love. I am going to take the white flannel I have and Tea Dye it (so it is the correct base color) and then sponge on a Damask stencil in Black.
    What I need is
    -a black that would pigmented enough to cover within the stencil pattern area
    -can be stenciled with a sponge applicator
    -will not ever bleed, fade or otherwise mess up the crisp lines of the stencil pattern
    -Has little to no hand
    So my question is this which dye is best? The Textile, Neopaque, or another one?
    Also I might add black Pearl Ex (or another one) in the black to give it extra dimension. Will that look ok? I am planning to do a few samples to see what I like best with the Pearl Ex but I really don't want to get both of the dyes and try them both out if I don't absolutely have to. I have enough with tea dyeing the materials, finding more appropriate fabric or making it and making quilt mock ups on my iPad so I can visually determine the best patterns and fabrics. Since I am stuck on this step until I am satisfied with all the fabrics before I can move to cutting the squares. I have to cut 363 squares at 10 inches each. We have a large bed and the end result will be 121 fabric 'sandwiches' at 8 inches each making the 11x11 quilt 88x88 inches. Each sandwich has a top, middle and back. The middle is just plain black flannel while the top and back will be mirror images. It's a lot of planning but will be worth it in the end if I can get the fabric just right. I just cannot take it if the stencils ended up ruining the quilt by bleeding, fading or otherwise not flowing properly with the rest. I would put up the current mock up with the proposed Stenciling but there seems to be no image upload button on here. ;)
  • Hi Joie,

    Wow! Sounds like an ambitious project.
    Okay, right to your questions: Because Textile Colors and Neopaque are water based acrylic paints and you are creating your stenciled pattern on light colored fabric, either will work as an effective medium for this project. There are some differences between them so: The Textile Colors will give you a softer hand although they are slightly less viscous so you'll want to be sure to work with a 'dry' sponge. The Neopaque are slightly more viscous than the Textile so offer a bit more control during application, however they do create more of a hand when dry. The hand of either paint is in direct proportion to the heaviness of the application of the paint; light application - little hand; heavy application - heavy hand. Adding Pearl Ex to either of the paints will deepen the pigment load and will also increase the hand.

    Wash fastness is easy to ensure with both paints, simply heat set with an iron using a temperature appropriate to the fabric. Either iron on the back of the fabric or with a thin cotton cloth between the iron & the paint. If you'd rather not iron each piece you can use our AirFix product which is added to the paints as you are using it. AirFix allows for air curing/fixing and removes or reduces the need for heat setting.

    Because you are stenciling a Damask pattern I'm presuming that there will be a fair amount of paint on the fabric. Because of that, and because you are looking for a light hand, I'd recommend starting with the Textile Colors. You can test with the PearlEx, but if you want the lighter hand I'm not thinking that's going to give you what you want.

    And yes, getting an image onto our forums is a chore - I've never been able to figure it out (not being a techie sort) but a couple of folks have managed...

    If you have any other questions don't hesitate - and hope this helps
  • Thank you so much! Ok with that info I decided I will use the textile then and do a few practice pieces to see about the Pearl Ex and painting thickness I will want.

    Another question can you dye minky fabric? I am thinking for other quilts for our next batch of Foster Kittens we get. I am a volunteer for a local no kill animal shelter and bottle feed abandoned kittens for them. Once they are old enough to be adopted and have had their shots, microchipped and spayed or neutered I send them off to their forever families with a rag quilt that is crib sized. Most of the kittens love minky fabric and if I find a pattern I like but it is say Brown and white but I want pink and brown can I use iDye for polyester in pink? Will it work? Or is there another way to dye that type of piled fabric that will get the results that I want?
  • Hi Joie,

    Let me know how your testing goes - I'm interested to know how you decide to go forward.

    Regarding the minky fabric - I see from a quick google that is a micro-fiber and most of those are polyester so I think you are on the right track with the iDye Poly. Take a look at the instructions - the polyester does require stove top dyeing so you can get to the necessary temperature levels to ensure successful dyeing.

  • Annette & Joie- regarding a picture upload, it took me a google search to figure it out- its quite easy-

    you need to go to flickr or a website where one can upload images, upload your image and copy and paste the url of that image anywhere in this text space (flickr gives you the "HTML" URL) - copy that url and paste it here- thats how i uploaded pics.!

    @ JOIE- your project sounds interesting !- Damask just btw like all traditional silks was meant to be slightly heavy, flimsy damask would be considered extremely inferior! So some hand on your fabric might be good --- and if youre making the effort of hand making it, some added hand might add charm instead of making it look/feel like a print. From my understanding the top most layer of fabric would have the paint and so your body would not feel the roughness but the slight added weight might feel good- I wear jeans heavily painted with lumiere and i like them more now - they feel much more interesting-

    To give a damask effect, id personally actually make sure the fabric ( on which youre stenciling this damaskish effect) has a matte finish and your pattern pops with not too much of a contrast in color but just adds some sheen- a real damask has a matte base and shinier pattern (motif) area so it would give a good effect if you keep this in mind-

    Would like to see pictures for my own curiosity !


  • AK - thanks for doing the research for getting images here!!! I'll be stashing that on my desktop for future reference!
    and thanks for chiming - I love hearing other peoples experience and your points about damask are very well made.

  • :) Ty! i have a blog online too but its kind of boring because its not really DIY but if you like textiles check it out -
  • ...okay, so not boring. Way over my head, yes, but I am definitely adding to my research projects list -
    thanks for sharing!!
  • I'm actually doing a Damask like pattern not making a damask fabric. I need it to be light, breathable and soft as I live in a suburb of Phx in Arizona and heavy fabrics are almost NEVER used. At least not for fabrics you wear or use for bedding, throws and such. We do use them for the regular upholstery and sometimes window coverings if you want that look but mostly shutters are used for lots of windows. We have a lot of dust issues so easy to clean window treatments are a must.
    Anyway since it is a rag quilt and I want it light and it must be on Flannel to get the proper ragging. I will probably be making a stencil that is 8x8 in the pattern that I want. (each square is cut 10x10 but with a 1 inch seam all the way around only 8x8 will be actual finished size of each square)This pic is of one that I like but is too intricate and not exactly right. So I am probably making my own.
  • PS rag quilts are supposed to look well loved and as such need not be perfect. The more they are used and washed the better they look. It's not a crisp look but a soft cuddly one. Fuzziness is encouraged. So it is quite different from other quilts in that way. Most other quilts are starchy or so pretty in its artistry you display them instead of use them. We have quite a few of those handed down from generations of family. This is a completely different animal and easier to boot!
    This is my Daughter's Rag Quilt I made for her 10th Birthday this year. I made the post public so you should be able to see it.
    This is the mock up I did on a free collage app. I must have done over 500 pix for it all. From all the fabrics being cropped the correct size to get a perfect view of the busyness of the fabrics and then adding them to make the end mock up. It's really not easy to explain but I did make it up as I went because I could do it better this way and more accurate than with any quilting app.
  • The mock up did have issues with some of the fabrics not photographing well though. The middle fabric around the pink center square is actually white with silver and pink scrollwork. It completely could not photograph without looking too dark, the silver causing shine issues that were not true to the fabric either. So that one I had to hand piece before sewing to ensure it was good for the final quilt. As you can see of the actual quilt pic it looks nothing like it does in the mock up.
  • Thanks for clarifying JOIE- I have never seen a rag quilt before so i didnt know the aesthetic you were going in for- the pictures help- Though i know you werent making a damask (no kidding ! LOL ) i thought as much that youd use the kind of damask pattern stencil that you posted the link of- I meant that Lumiere would add a nice somewhat preferable feel in terms of weight.

    But it really depends how one dabs on the paint through the stencil- when i dabbed on a thick layer it added weight but you could try a thinner layer but then that would compromise the sheen- if you use non shinier paints the effect would be fine without adding as much weight so maybe give that a shot? (Textile colors from Jacquard maybe? , Neopaque is somewhat thicker too ! ) it would be best to do a test swatch with lumiere/neopaque/textile colors to see your tolerance and go from there-

    Good luck on your project- keep us updated !
  • Oh i forgot to write: I did use Sodium Alginate (a chemical) that thickens out a dye and allows you to paint with it so you have a dye that acts like a paint - a lot of people in India do block printing with that and also create intricate patterns because they use intricate blocks to print.
    So if you want absolutely no weight of paint or a metal sheen, then this option is extremely lightweight !
  • Thanks! I just love all the helpful info here! I am planning on trying out a few techniques to see what I want. So far my front runners are Textile with a pinch of Pearl Ex. If is too heavy I'll nix the Pearl for the project. I will have to get some Sodium Alginate and see if it will work better with a stencil. I hate when color bleeds under a stencil, especially when I use the temporary spray adhesive that makes the stencil stick better and is supposed it eliminate that issue.
    I have so many projects that the Jacquard line has inspired that I will have to pace myself! First this Rag Quilt, then discharge fun, color magnet, ice dying with Procion, resist and dye na flow and finally no flow fun.
  • I changed my photo to the mock up of the Rag Quilt I am leaning towards. Still not the final mock up yet as I am still gathering the fabrics, dyeing and then Stenciling.