Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fabric Dyeing with Rossie

Today Brenda, Ashley and I went over to Rossie's house, armed with gloves, buckets, and the most important ingredient: white fabric!

Annie's Seed Catalogue, by Holly Holderman for LakeHouse Dry Goods

After seeing the great results Jeni had dyeing the white-on-white Annie's Farm Stand Seed Catalog fabric, we wanted to give it a try too.

Rossie is an old pro at this dyeing business, and since she had all of the dye and other supplies, we headed to her place. (Note: this is not a complete account of all the necessary steps.  For more technical info about the dyeing process we used, check out Rossie's blog.)

Choosing colors

We prewashed our fabric to prepare it for dyeing.  Then we consulted this book to choose some colors we were interested in. We didn't try too hard to match any specific color.  We roughly followed the recipe for a given color, but part of the fun of this process is seeing what appears in the end!   

It is important to wear gloves and a mask when handling the dye.

Rossie prepares the dyes

Rossie and Brenda prepared the dyes (the pigments are in powdered form and then mixed into salt water to activate. (Again, check out Rossie's blog. If you are interested in trying this yourself, she has a lot of helpful information and many links to experienced in fabric dyeing).  Ashley and I cut the fabric into smaller pieces (large cuts of fabric can be bulky, creating extra folds/bubbles in the fabric, which can result in uneven dye patterns). We then dampened the fabric slightly before placing several pieces in each bucket.

Dyeing steps 
Dyeing steps

Rinsed fabrics
Rinsed fabrics

Following the dye bath, the fabrics were rinsed in cold water first and then hot and then washed in the washing machine.  We let our fabric air dry.

All washed and ready to go!
All washed and ready to go.

The finished product!

Many thanks to Rossie for hosting us and helping us navigate the dyeing process. It was a lot of fun!

Anna :)


  1. I'm so glad you blogged about this, because I was just looking at your fickr pics wishing for more info. I really want to try that shibori clamping business. Your colors came out great, I really love the green and the gray.

  2. That does look like the most perfect grey! Along with the dk pink and blue. All so fabulous.

  3. Cool! Love the colors you girls came up with! Looks like it was a fun girly day :)