Reported by Susie Ziegler
For years I have been wanting to try fabric dye. I’ve been successful with home dyeing of wool yarn with food coloring and vinegar. Watered down acrylic paint works well with the Girl Scouts, but the result is a bit stiff. It has long been time for me to graduate into real fabric dye using more professional supplies.
Jacquard produces high quality fiber art supplies including inks, dyes, chemicals, waxes, tools, and kits. Their Jewel Tone Tie Dye Kits seem like a good place to start my fabric dyeing adventures. Jacquard offers seven lovely colorways of these kits. I think I love that amethyst choice best. They sent me both the ruby and the emerald kits to test.
It isn’t clear on the package that inside each of these boxes are two coordinating tones of each color (although it does say it in the directions). In the package you will get enough dye for two t-shirts, rubber gloves, rubber bands, a package of soda ash, and an instruction page with some tie dye ideas.
Instead of using t-shirts, I decided I would try dyeing some fabric. I purchased two yards of white 100% cotton quilting fabric. The instructions say this dye is meant for 100% cotton, rayon, linen, or hemp. I did not otherwise prepare my yardage except to cut it into two pieces. First I soaked it in a tub of the whole package of soda ash dye fixative dissolved in about 2 gallons of hot water. I used the rubber gloves for this part, but one finger had a pinhole leak and the liquid leaked onto my skin.
I read the directions more closely and, while I don’t think I should bathe in the soda ash or anything, my skin will be okay. I need to take care that this chemical solution doesn’t splash into my eyes. I can save the excess solution in a marked container to be used later on another project.
Okay, so I mixed up the Jacquard dye and tested them on a paper towel. Look at the nice tones, enough contrast to get a nice effect on my fabric:
The Jacquard Jewel Tones Tie Dye came out in a stream. I noticed that the tip of the teal colored dye bottle was very tight, so that the dye squirted out in a very small spray. I wasn’t sure if this was how it was supposed to be, but since I got frustrated with it, I decided to poke a larger hole in it with a very small nail, much like you do when you need to clear out the tip of a dried out glue bottle. It squirted much better after that.
I can’t wait to see how it turned out. I have to wait 12 to 24 hours to remove the rubber bands, rinse, and see the effect. Also, as I worked, I forgot to put back on the gloves and my fingertips really got green. I expect that this color will wear off pretty quickly, but you might want to take care and wear the gloves when you try this.
The package says there is enough for two t-shirts. I found that I have enough dye to do another yard of cotton. I suppose the amount of dye used depends on the thickness of the material you are using.
I rinsed and dried my fabric in the dryer and I was surprised that the vivid wet fabric faded to a sort of washed out look. I like it, but I liked it better when it was really vivid. I also washed one yard with laundry detergent and tumbled it dry. I didn’t notice that this fabric was more faded than the one that only received a rinse.
Look how cool!
- Very easy to use
- Two colors in each package combine for a rich, lovely effect
- All supplies are provided except for fabric or shirt
- Instructions are simple to understand
- Dye doesn’t change the texture of the fabric at all.
- Soda ash package says to soak fabric for 20 minutes. Instructions contradict this and indicate that only a thorough soak is needed.
- Dried fabric faded considerably from what I expected. I am not sure that a longer dye bath would preserve the color, or if I should have used the longer soda ash pre-soak.
- Squirt bottle needed adjustments to work properly.
I enjoyed my first adventures in fabric dyeing with the Jacquard Jewel Tones Tie Dye Kit. I look forward to trying more! What do you think… leave us a comment and let us know!