Instructor: Meg R.
Supply List for Beginning Fabric Dying
Fabric to dye – My favorite is Kauffman Pimatex PFD (Prepared for dying) and is sold by the Glass Thimble. If you are
new to dyeing, it is easiest to dye ½ yard cuts. These will be cut by Glass Thimble staff each class and will be available at
the beginning of class. I think you will find this fabric will give you the best results. You may dye other fabric, but if not
labeled “pfd”, MUST be “scoured” to remove sizing and surface treatments. Silk should always be scoured. To scour 1
pound (3-4 yards) of fabric wash for 10 minutes with hot water, ½ cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer Super Washing
Soda-picture of box below) and ½ teaspoon synthrapol or Orvus Paste. Rinse well. Do not use starch or fabric softeners.
We will discuss this further in class
Rubbermaid or similar bin to take wet fabric home and back in.
1 box of Zip Lock gallon size bags.
A variety of Ziploc type plastic containers – large cottage cheese containers – old ½ gallon ice cream containers – empty
cool-whip containers – things with lids!!! My favorites are the 4 cup square and 3 cup round Ziploc containers.
Please wear old clothes you don’t care about. An apron is optional and certainly won’t protect you completely. The best
defense is to wear old clothes.
IF it snows……we will try to do snow-dyeing. If you are interested in dyeing one piece of snow dyed fabric (or even a pre-
washed, “scoured” tshirt), bring One 18x22 piece of plexiglass, One 26 to 28 quart under-bed storage container. Target
sells these by Sterilite for around $3.99. One 9x13 plastic rectangular container. Snow dyed fabric will have to batch at the
shop over night and you will be responsible for coming to pick it up sometime the following week.
Always wear your rubber gloves when handling dyes and solutions, this includes when rinsing out your fabric.
When working with dry soda ash, dry urea, and dry dye powders, you MUST wear a dust mask and rubber gloves.
Food items and drinks should not be in the same room as dye solutions. You may keep them in the adjoining room to snack
or sip from in between projects.
Any containers, spoons, measuring cups, bags, etc used for dying may not be re-used for food. Any item used in dying
should be considered dye-exclusive.
If you do not like the way one of your pieces of fabric turns out and wish to over-dye it during the next “fun session”,
please do not starch it. If you add any chemicals other than washing with Synthrapol or plain water, they will need to be
washed out prior to dying.
IF you wish to dye some commercial fabric during “fun time” – say you want to overdye a black and white print fabric, you
must prepare for dying by washing with Synthrapol and Washing Soda (Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda) in the
washer prior to class. This is referred to as “scouring”.
All supplies (i.e. containers, clamps, dye bottles) used during class are the personal property of the teacher (Meg). These
supplies are not included in your class fee and are being lent to you by Meg.
And most importantly……HAVE FUN!!!!
Low Water Immersion Dyeing-Basic Steps
All of this is done IN class – no homework except for washing out your fabric
Prepare fabric pieces. We are using PFD (prepared for dying) fabric, so we do not need any pre-washing. If we
were not using PFD fabric, we would need to scour the fabric to remove sizing and surface treatments. Silk should always
be scoured. To scour 1 pound (3-4 yards) of fabric wash for 10 minutes with hot water, ½ teaspoon soda ash and ½
teaspoon synthrapol. Rinse well.
Wet fabric: soak and wring out in either soda ash or water
Dye fabric. Mix dye concentrates with either plain water to make 1 cup liquid per yard of fabric.
Apply dye to fabric. If not initially mixed with soda ash/soaked in soda ash after 5-15 minutes, pour 1-cup soda ash
solution per yard over the fabric.
Let the dye work for one-hour minimum. For best results, batch (in a bag or covered container) the fabric for 8-10 hours.
Remove excess dye: Remove excess dye and soda ash by rinsing in warm water by hand until water is almost clear.
This should NOT be back breaking work. Place back in container.
Wash in hot water and Synthrapol. Use 2 tablespoons Synthrapol per wash load. 2 cycles in the washer would be optimal.
Dry in dryer just until damp but not dry. Test color fastness by ironing fabric while still damp on a piece of white towel or
white fabric. If any dye transfers – wash again.