Dip Dye Project Completed

Yesterday I decided to start my ombre' dye project. I wanted to see what I could do with some baby onsies. (my sister is expecting twins.) So after ordering a bunch of chemicals from Dharma Trading Company, purchasing a few packs of onsies and a bunch of packs of dish towels from Ikea and Embroider This (gotta have things to practice your technique on first).

I followed the Martha Stewart instructions that I told you about last week. I mixed up hot water, ash and non-iodine salt in plastic bins in my stainless steel sink. Having a double sink is very important here. I then measured out my dye in a small glass bowl and mixed in water a little at a time. It takes awhile to get the dye to dissolve but it is very important to do this separate before adding it to the salt/ash water.

I then took my freshly washed towels out of the washing machine. It is very important to wash them first! I liked the dampness that the washer left in the towels, it seemed like just the right amount of wetness to draw the dye up. I tried several different ways of dipping them but at the end I found that I favored folding them in an accordion style first. I then dunked them to the highest point (about 2/3 of the towel) for 30 seconds. Then pulled them out a 3rd of the way and left it to soak for one minute. Then pulled another 3rd and left that to soak for 5 minutes.
Then carefully pull them out and rinse. The instructions seemed to think dunking them in a tub full of cold water worked best but I thought it was evening out my ombre' technique too much. I rinsed from the top of the dye towards the bottom.

I then laid them all out trying very hard to not let them touch. I would not recommend doing more than one color at a time. The colors seem to leap over onto the other pieces. I have a bunch of oopsies now. When I was all finished dying, I filled the sink with cold water and dye fixative and plunked each piece in for a final rinse. And then, following the instructions, I tossed them in the washer and then the dryer. Thats where most of my careful efforts went wasted. That seemed to wash out most of the hard lines that I was kind of trying for.
All in all it was alot of fun and and my kid knows a few new words now too. Like towels and dye and salt and shit!

I'm still trying to decide what to do with all those towels. It definitely helped to have them so that I could figure out what the heck I was doing. I think the onsies turned out great too.


lsaspacey 6:24 AM  

So what would you suggest doing differently?

erika 10:56 AM  

Just off the top of my head I would suggest not doing more than on color at a time. As careful as I was I still managed to get orange on my eggplant pieces and green on my orange pieces, ect.
Also- I think I may need a degree in chemistry before moving on to the next dye project. I read everything on the Dharma site about which chemicals I needed, but I still think I may have missed a step.
I also forgot rubber gloves. I am not one to worry about the appearance of my hands, I have always had big, dry, working hands, but I still have blueish nails and cuticles. I think strangers might think I am ill or something. I should wear bluish lipstick and pretend to be freezing cold!

Angie 10:21 AM  

Love your blog...actually stumbled across it when I found that we had a few favorite projects in common. I'll be stopping by regularly!

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