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Shaving Cream Dyeing with Dharma Fiber Reactive MX Dyes


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Here's a unique method of using shaving cream and Dharma Fiber Reactive MX dyes to get beautiful marble effects on fabric.

Here's what you'll need:

- White fabric - cotton, rayon, silk or other natural fiber to dye on
- Dharma Fiber Reactive MX dyes
- Soda Ash Fixer
- Synthrapol
- 8oz. Squeeze bottles to hold your dyes
- Foam shaving cream, preferably containing aloe
- Flat, shallow, plastic or metal pan
- Plastic mixing bowls
- Wire whisk

Here's what you do:

1. Pre-wash the fabric in Synthrapol. This removes any oils or dirt that might be on the fabric and gives you better dye results.

2. Dissolve one cup soda ash in one gallon of hot water. Soak the fabric in the soda ash solution for 5-10 minutes, wring lightly and hang dry.

3. Dissolve your dye powders (2 tsps. for colors without an *, 4 tsps. for colors with one *, 8 tsps. for colors with two *) in a small amount of warm water, stirring into a smooth paste. Stir in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. For reds and colors containing red, filter the dye solution through a coffee filter or piece of silk to remove difficult to dissolve particles. Add 1/2 cup shaving cream to the filtered dye solution, then pour this mixture into the squeeze bottle.

4. Dilute about half a can of shaving cream with a cup of water in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the mixture until well blended and thick and creamy. Pour mixture into the tray until about an inch deep.

5. Squirt the dye/shaving cream mixture over the shaving cream/water mixture in the tray in any pattern you wish. Use a comb, chopsticks, or any tool to swirl and spread the dye into any pattern desired.

6. Place a piece of the prepared fabric on the surface of the shaving cream and dye pattern. Remove any air bubbles by pushing down gently with a tool or a gloved hand.

7. Allow the fabric to sit on the surface of the dye/shaving cream for 5 minutes, then remove fabric by lifting carefully. Place on a flat surface shaving cream side up and allow to sit for 2 to 24 hours to develop the dye. The piece needs to remain moist for the activation to take place.

8. Rinse fabric in cool running water to remove the soda ash, and then increase temperature to hot. Continue to rinse until water is almost clear, then wash in hot water and Synthrapol to remove any excess dye. Dry, press and voila!


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