help me start dyeing stuff--i've got money to burn at dharma trading - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-14-2003, 02:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all. Got the dharma trading for my bday. (75!!). I am so excited. Here is my question:
I want to get set up w/the stuff that I would have trouble buying w/my own money, like the bigger items....ie. not the dye. I am really interested in batik and tie-dye. I want to dye silk playscarves, clothes (probably all cotton or silk) and just play around a little And probably the simplest method they have since I have limited free time and two small kids. What would you suggest buying?

I want to get as much as I can for my money since I won't have more to spend there for who knows how long! I saw they have some sets, but I don't want those extra things that might be a waste of money (like rubber bands or gloves! I can get those cheaply elsewhere). ANy ideas? I plan on getting a couple blanks too.

Oh, it's so overwhelming. any help would be appreciated. i haven't dyed stuff since HS with my RIT dye. :

Thanks mamas!!
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Old 05-14-2003, 11:34 AM
 
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You're 75? :LOL I know what you meant. Happy birthday and congrats on the gift certificate.

Dharma's website (maybe their catalog as well?) has great, simple instructions for most of these things. I would take a look around there.

I think their dyes are amazing and their other accessories are an excellent deal so I would personally go for doing it that way. We bought one of their tie-dye kits a few years ago, and it really had a lot in it for the money.

But if you aren't going to get the kit, definitely get the colors that are in their basic kit, because even though it might sound weird that turquoise and fuschia are what you need to make all other colors (together with whatever yellow they have), they are. And get the chemicals that they sell with the kit. They have a flyer, called something like "Rainbow Tie-Dye" that's worth getting for the basic tie-dye designs. I don't think one needs any book besides that one and the free instructions they send (and have on their website).

I want to do the scarf thing too, and I don't know which dyes are the best for that, so I'll be reading this thread with interest.

My plan for this summer is to do sun-painting with the setacolor paints with my daughters.
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Old 05-14-2003, 12:03 PM
 
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I tried sun painting this spring and it didn't work at all!!!

It left sort of a shadow on the dye, but not recognizable shapes. It just looked stupid.

Procion dyes are the best for regular dyeing and playsilks.
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Old 05-14-2003, 06:27 PM
 
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Wow $75, I could go crazy with that!


hydrangea is correct about the kits, I bought the one for "dyeing in baggies." It's a great method, very easy to use and will save you money in the long run. I believe it comes with lemon yellow, turquoise and fuschia. You simply always need to have those colors. The book that comes with it is fabulous, lots of great info on mixing colors...

I dye a lot and find that I do not need their special laundry soap, instead I use 7th Generation. Additionally, I purchase sea salt in bulk from my co-op (it does not contain Iodine.)

Other colors you might want to consider are a nice deep green (new emerald green is nice,) a deeper blue (like ceruleum or saphire), a bright red like Scarlet, a deeper yellow like Marigold (it's gorgeous when mixed with a bit of Fuschia.) 2 oz bottles are more than sufficient. Most of these colors are $3.95, but the blues are $6.95 -- and worth it if you want a deep (dark) blue.

One thing I bought that turned out to be really fun, were Squeeze Bottles You have to mix the dye in something else and then use a funnel to pour it into the bottle.

Do experiment with the colors, some just don't do well. IE mixing Scarlett with lemon yellow is not pretty, but with Fuschia it's this gorgeous salmon color.

A technique I made up is to get one of those clear plastic storage boxes for sweaters and place a piece of clothing in it that is already soaked with the "chemical water" and put some extra "chemical water" in the plastic box. Then using the squirt bottles full of dye, squirt the fabric! You can draw, you can make dots etc. Then you can either roll it up and put it in a zip lock bag or you can squish it around to blend the colors. You have to use a lot of dye if you want an intense color though.

As for batik, you can buy at Dharma or at a craft's store some bees wax. You can melt it in a coffee tin that's sitting in boiling water or use an electric fry pan on low. To get the wax on the clothing, you can buy a tool for it at Dharma called a Tjanting or you can use a plastic spoon or something and just pour it on (not very precise, but it works!) The only bad thing about batik is getting the wax out. The secret is not to use too much wax (so that it totally saturates the fabric) but rather just enough for it to sit on the fabric. Then by washing the dyed fabric a couple of times in really hot water 95% of it comes out.

Oh, this is the kit I bought and love: Procion Baggie Method Starter Set It's well worth the $28 with the book.

So what to dye? And how to maximize your money?
Get some friends involved. All the "clothing blanks" deeply decrease in price once you order a dozen of any cotton items. I only dye kids clothes and have found the tshirts, dresses, cardigans and pull on toddler pants to be wonderful.

Oh, and I used the baggy method and the same dye to do a couple of the silk cut velvet scarves. The only difference was that when I prewashed and post-dye washed them I did it by hand.

Good luck! And I hope this wasn't too much information!
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Old 05-14-2003, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow! thanks guys. I checked here thinking probably no one responded yet.....wrong!

no, that was not too much info. just right, I need specifics. I am really trying to maximize my money cuz as I said, I won't have money to spend here again soon.

keep it coming. I'm going to look through the catalog and post new questions! I didn't expect so much help!! thanks so much!!!
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Old 05-15-2003, 02:43 AM
 
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Excuse me for butting in here but I've just spent like the last 2 hours looking over the Dharma site. I didn't even know where to start.....I was just about to go to bed when I figured I would stop in here first and lo & behold here's this thread

I love the playscarf idea!!!!! Which silk would you get for that and how much of it do you think you'd need for 1 scarf?? I've been dying (sorry for the pun) to get DD some but they're so expensive in catalogs........

Thanks to all of you!!
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Old 05-15-2003, 09:53 AM
 
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I haven't done it myself, yet, but in another thread someone said it was the 8mm Habotai scarves in the 35" size: http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/1741-AA.shtml
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Old 05-15-2003, 12:29 PM
 
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Me again!

Dharma does have "play scarves," let me try and find the link. Ah here we go, check out the Silk Sarongs They are 44" by 72"

They also have these groovy banners

Really, the best, best, best way to maximize your $$ is to have a dyeing party with friends. A little dye goes a long way...so you buy the dye and have everyone pick out some clothing to buy at Dharma (for the quantity discount) and have everyone chip in $3 for dye and shipping. Otherwise, you can spend $30 for dye in no time.

If you do this, you must mark every item before you wash it - ie just initials on the tags with a sharpee is fine, otherwise you won't remember what belongs to each other.

This is the best dyeing book: Hand Dyed Fabric Made Easy You can buy it on Half.comfor $13.58 (including shipping) or at Dharma forf $13.46 plus shipping or as part of the baggie dyeing kit. Looks like Overstock has it for $8.39.

Good luck and have fun! Once you mix the dye, the rest is easy!!!
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Old 05-15-2003, 12:39 PM
 
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I dye my dc's playsilks (from Dharma...great quality) with procion dyes in the microwave.

It works great and can be done *very* quickly!!
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Old 05-16-2003, 06:13 AM
 
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Dharma don't ship overseas but I can understand the temptation. I don't batik but I do tie dye.

If I could get access to all that gear, I'd personally initially just go for the procion dyes & save the rest of the money for when you've had a bit of practise to get other stuff or more dyes as you need them. I think washing soda is the same as soda ash or whatever you are supposed to soak the clothes in before you dye them & you can get that at a grocery store. You mix urea in with the dye to strengthen the colours. We get urea from garden centres or you could use baby pee or just leave it out altoghether. I've done all 3 with good results. You can mix the dyes to make other colours so you can get away with just fushia, lemon yellow & turquoise to begin with. Altho' turquoise is a bit of a yellow blue so you don't get really nice purples with it. So you can get a medium blue ( more of a red blue ) as well which means you get better purples.

Squeezy bottles for applying the dye are really handy too for mixing the dyes in & for applying the dyes with a bit more precision than a teaspoon : which was how I started out. I got the squeezy bottles I have from our local plastics store.

I'd give the blank silks & things a miss initially until you've had some practise. My first attempts were so bad I nearly gave up several times. If I'd brought some beatiful blank piece of silk & mutilated that I'd have been heart broken. I used to just go to the local second hand shop & look for old white / pale coloured cotton or rayon clothes & practise on them. Actually virtually everything I tie dye still is pre-loved.

You can look up instructions on how to tie dye on the net ( I just searched with google ) & get books out of the library. I did buy one myself initially but found web based info far better so the book just sits around gathering dust.

Best of luck & happy dyeing
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Old 05-16-2003, 05:31 PM
 
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Great point OceanMama!

I just remembered while hanging out purple cloth diapers, that I did some of my first experimenting on diapers! I had way more dye than I needed for the clothes I had, so I just went looking for more things!

Also, if you like to sew, dyeing up old table clothes and napkins is fun and makes for wonderfully soft clothes.
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