Reported by Dana Vitek
Not one to let Susie and Sara have all the fun, I broke into my Jacquard Tie Dye and Indigo Dye kits with vigor. Both Susie and Sara said that they didn’t realize that the Tie Dye kit contained 2 different colors of ink; I just wanted to point out that it does, indeed, say it right here in the directions that the package contains a main color and an accent color.
Okay, now that the formalities are out of the way; let’s get down to business.
I’ve been wanting to dye yarn for the longest time, but didn’t want to deal with the mess and fuss that comes from dipping and mixing and stuff. So, I figured this Tie Dye kit would be just what I was looking for. It definitely was. I just added water to the pre-filled applicator bottles, and I was was good to go.
Here’s what I started with (it’s 100% cotton):
This is a lot of yarn (14 oz). Maybe too much for one kit.
Soaking in the soda ash pre-dye bath:
I added water to the bottles and tested them on a paper towel:
Now the good part… first the red:
then the pink:
I stuck the whole thing in a trash bag and let it sit for about 20 hours. Then I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed it. The water eventually ran clear.
There’s no good way to dry this much yard without getting it all boogered up. First I put it in a lingerie bag and put it in the dryer on high. For a long time. No dice. Then I attempted to dry it using my hair straightener. My husband took one look at that operation and suggested I put it in the oven. 200 °F for 2 hours, and it’s pretty close to dry. Finding the end is another story.
I crocheted up a quick swatch to see how it would look in my typical baby blanket pattern… I love it! I’m a little afraid that the color might run (reds are like that), so I’m going to wash the finished blanket several times by itself, before I give it to an unsuspecting baby girl!
While the yarn was in dye purgatory (i.e. the 12-24 hour waiting period), I mixed up the batch of Indigo dye. Included in the package was all this stuff:
including a really cool informational booklet about the history of Indigo. Pretty cool stuff. Anyway…
4 gallons of water + 1 tiny little jar of powder:
This does not smell very good
I know nothing of tieing things up to dye. There were directions included, but I pretty much winged it. That’s the beauty of tie dye… anything goes!
While I was rubberbanding, I let the bucket of dye rest for about an hour, and came back to find this:
(this really doesn’t smell very good)
Apparently this is exactly what it’s supposed to look like, based on the pictures included in the kit.
The liquid part of the dye is actually a yellowish-green color. I dipped my fabric in (I was doing a whole bunch of white 100% cotton flannel) and gently squeezed while keeping it under the surface of the dye. The directions make a point of saying to not drop your fabric in the bucket and let it touch the bottom. That’s too bad, because that would have been way easier. But, that’s the nature of indigo.
Some action shots:
Here’s the cool part; after taking the fabric out of the dye and unwrapping it, the indigo reacts with the oxygen in the air and tada! Blue!
I rinsed out the flannel, and threw it in the dryer for about 1/2 an hour. Then I ironed it, and started cutting it up to make a quilt.
I LOVE the way the fabric turned out, and had a hard time cutting into it! The flannel was still super soft; the indigo dye didn’t change the texture at all.
Since I had all this dye left over, I stuck the bucket in my laundry room until I could decide what else to dye. And then it came to me… my favorite jeans. These jeans were purchased back when the light wash look was still in. I haven’t had the chance to overdye them yet, but I’ll be stylin’ again soon!
- Kits come with everything you need to get started, right down to the gloves and rubber bands. Which is great because then I didn’t need to steal any from the office.
- Jewel tone kit had just enough for a small project; two t-shirts is a perfect amount.
- Indigo kit is great for larger projects or lots of shirts.
- Okay, it’s messy, or has the potential to be. But really, I’ve trashed my kitchen way worse than this.
- I probably should have used two kits for the yarn; now I know.
- The indigo dye smells yucky, so says my 4-year-old daughter, and I agree.
All in all, I loved these kits, and will definitely be using them both again. I still have an Emerald Tie Dye kit, although next time I think I’ll crochet the blanket first and then tie dye the finished product.
So what do you think? Are you hankering to get your hands on some tie dye now? Leave us a comment and let us know!