Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dye Experiment

I made my mold this morning and then went right to dyeing. I usually use 1/8 teaspoon of dye because I like just hints of color. But I was using a light color and thought, gee, maybe I need to double it. That was a bad idea. I do not like the way the color came out. So straight away I dyed another piece with 1/8th, like normal. I still don't know if it's as pale as I want it, though.

I use Dharma Trading fiber reactive procion dyes. Here are the quantities I use--instructions on are their website:

2 gallons of water for up to 2 yards of pre-washed fabric
1 lb non-iodized salt
1/8 teaspoon dye dissolved in water
1/2 cup soda ash

Every time I've used 1/4 teaspoon I've been unsatisfied with the result.


  1. Hi there! What kind of fabric is it? Is this for making doll bodies/heads? You're very brave, using dye. The commercial stuff just scares me and I avoid using it unless I really have to.I dye my doll fabric with tea in a big stock pot. The colour I get is always a surprise, which is partly why I do it. That and the fabric always seems softer, with a nicer feel, after boiling in tea.
    Let me know how the mould came out!

    1. This is Kona Cotton. I've always used it for doll bodies. It has a nice amount of give, so the fingers always come out perfect. The color I got when I dyed is the same color I used to buy off the bolt, and I want something paler, so I'm going to try it again. I'm not worried about the dye. I like the freedom of choosing my own dress fabric color on my choice of fabric. I use fine batiste for my clothing.

      I have industrial fabric softener for after the dye. It doesn't smell nice, but it works. I decided I shouldn't add any scent to my dolls in case a potential purchaser (I do hope to have those some day) has sensitivities to fragrance. I know I certainly do.

    2. I'm having trouble replying on my iPad. I meant to add that my mold will be wet for a few days, and then I will need to mold the back of the head. And I'm out of plaster. Andy the website cart system isn't working, so I can't order it right away.

  2. I'll have to try Kona cotton. You can make fingers with it? I've been using the last of my curtain lining fabric, which I can't seem to find here in the USA.

    I really didn't know there was industrial fabric softener! I'll have to look into that, too.

    1. Kona cotton is a quilter's fabric of medium weight. It has a little stretch in both directions. It comes in a lot of colors--I have a color card--but you know I like to dye my own. I can easily make little fingers with it, but everyone probably has a different idea of what "little" is.

      I finally got the perfect color! But I don't know how much dye I used, lol. I just put a little in my 1/4 teaspoon. I just ordered small measuring spoons to help out--1/8, 1/16, and 1/32. They have names like smidge, hint, and one other I can't remember.

      I have industrial detergent, to remove sizing, and softener. I get them at, where I get my dyes. The fabric doesn't have any scent afterwards. For me, dyeing is just another thing to get totally obsessed about! Like I don't have enough already. I was totally intimidated about dyeing, but I worked through it was the instructions, and now it's super easy. It just seems to take me a bit to get the right shade.