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Vendor Spotlight: Jacquard Jewel Tones Tie Dye Kit

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:


I used their rubber bands and supplemented with some of my own to make these little bundles. I’m hoping the effect will be little circles across my yard of fabric. We’ll see!


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 treated a second yardage so that it will (hopefully) be striped.


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!

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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!

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4 Responses to Vendor Spotlight: Jacquard Jewel Tones Tie Dye Kit

  1. Erika Martin - Stampin' Mama December 15, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Great review! I love how your fabric turned out. Beautiful colors!

  2. veronica December 15, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    i have a friend that lives all the way across the country that loves tie dying. i want to try it because she loves it so much, so i am always interested in tutorials that show me how to do it. would love to try a kit.

  3. Vicki W December 15, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    I am a fabric dyer and hope you don’t mind if I jump in with a couple of ideas on things things that would affect the color depth. Because you are using soda ash, I am assuming that the kit uses procion mx dyes.

    1) You always need to use more dye than you expect. The color will always fade as the fabric is washed and dried. It may look dark wet but it will always be a lot lighter when it’s done.
    2) Heat. When you were batching the fabric was the temperature over 70? I try to batch my fabric around 80 degrees. If the temp is below 70, the colors will not bond as well, especially turquoise.
    3) Soda ash. I can’t tell how much soda ash you had but your soda ash bath might have been a little weak. I’ve done some testing and the best mix is about 1/2 cup of soda ash to 1 gallon of water. It also helps to soak for at least 30 minutes.
    4) Batching time. If your temperatures are warm then a batching time of 3 hours should be enough. At cooler temperatures you need to batch longer.

    I’d add an additional comment about the wash out. It’s really important that the water be very hot (over 140 degrees) or your fabric is likely to bleed. When I process my dyed fabrics I first rinse under the faucet with cold water to remove the soda ash. Then I put the fabric in the sink, add some dish detergent and pour boiling water over it. I let this soak over night and then wash the fabric in the washer. The boiling water may be overkill but I sell my fabric and want to make sure that it does not bleed.

  4. IamSusie December 15, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Vicki! Those are excellent tips! I tried to follow the instructions pretty much exactly as they were described from the manufacturer. I really think that Jacquard should put extra tips like this in their user guide because I was disappointed in the final washed out look.

    I think the problem may have been the soda ash bath because I used fabric right off the bolt, so it had some sizing on the surface. I also only soaked it for a few minutes when it probably really needed the full 20 minute soak that was not indicated in the package instructions.