Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dyeing for sky

I am working on a project for the upcoming National parks tribute. I need sky. The pieces of turquoise and blue that I have previously hand dyed are too small and I do not want to piece this section. So off into the basement I go to dye some sky.
Two blues
I decided to dye two possible backgrounds so that I would have a choice. I got out my favorite turquoise and then sky  blue.

I always have a "drop cloth" soda ashed and ready to dye. I use it to mop up messes, to put under the dyes while mixing and to wipe out the containers. You never know what you will get with the drop cloth! I do wet the drop cloth when mixing the powders so that it will grab any powder spills.
Soda Ashing
I saw this hint somewhere online. I mix up a bunch of soda ash in a big bucket. I have a lid for the bucket and after I soak and remove the fabric I am dyeing, I can just close up the lid and it is ready to go for the next dyeing adventure. When it gets too low, you just add more soda ash and water to the bucket.


Sky Blue
I have these two pieces "cooking" under plastic. Hopefully I can get them rinsed out tomorrow. I reuse those cheap plastic tablecloths. These are starting to get tattered, time to get some more from the dollar store.

Ziplock bags
I also did 4 fat quarters in ziplock bags. Again, using the "drop cloth" to catch any excess dyes.

I found out the hard way that I really need to label those bottles with the excess dye. Last time I thought I had extra brown and dyed a piece for a background. It turned out to be Burgundy red.

Sorting some for the store

Pretty pink
I need to get more dyes. So next week I will list on my Etsy shop some hand dyes. I need to pay for my habit! I have a hard time photographing the colors, they never show up as bright as they really are. Something to work on next week.

This is my off the wall post for this week.


  1. I have a drop cloth too, but I do not keep it in a bucket with soda ash solution. Thanks for sharing this tip.
    Love your deyed fat quarters and look forward to see the 'sky'!
    Love from Amsterdam

    1. Hi Maartje, you are set to no-reply. Anyway to clarify, I don't keep the drop cloth in the soda ash bucket. I just make sure that I have an extra piece of fabric that has already been processed with soda ash to use as a drop cloth. I reuse the drop cloth until it has no more room on it.

  2. Hope that your sky turns out as you wish. I often have to dye fabric to get just the right color. I find myself picking up blue fabrics too when I see them in stores if I think they might work as a sky.

  3. Great idea with the bucket. I have a small home and limited space for dying...I've been trying to think of ways I can continue to dye through the winter...because don't you know we don't always get inspired when the weather is warm and beautiful and perfect for fabric dyeing outdoors. :) I had been keeping soda ash water in a bin in my laundry room - it weighed a ton and was becoming a hazard! I like the small bucket with a lid idea - where did you find your bucket may I ask?

    1. Hi Valerie,
      I have a plastic drop cloth on the floor in my unfinished basement. I keep my soda ash bucket on top of it and also an old dish rack that I use to hold the fabric after I wring it out and am not yet ready to work with it. Since I have the space, I can just leave it there. The bucket came from Walmart, it is either a 4 or 5 gallon one. I believe that the lids are extra. It was less than $5. I know that Home Depot also sells those type of buckets for cheap.

  4. Great post! I hope your fabrics come out perfect!


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