This project is intended to assist you in making your very own quilt! There is much more to making a quilt than just the simple steps we can give you here...in fact, it can be quite an undertaking. What we hope to illustrate is a method you can use to begin with a clean canvas (white or natural fabric) and create the squares you desire to make a quilt that is entirely your own design.
- 1-3 yards of white cotton or natural cotton fabric, can be various size pieces
- 1 lb Soda Ash Fixer (#FIX1)
- 1 lb Urea (#UREA1)
- 1 Pint Kieralon (#SYNPT)
- 2-4 8oz Squeeze bottles (#SB8)
- 2-4 2oz Fiber Reactive Procion MX Dyes
- 1 Gallon Plastic Pail (#PP1)
- Color Mixing Cups (#CMC)
- Rubber Gloves (#SRG)
- Dust Mask (#DM)
- 2-4 Plastic containers of various sizes
- Plastic bags (like the ones you get from the produce section in the supermarket)
- Measuring Teaspoon and Tablespoon
1. Pre-wash your fabrics in hot water with Kieralon. You can do this in a washing machine. If you are doing just a few yards a capful works fine otherwise it's a 1/4 Cup (2 oz.) per washing machine full load. After you have washed your fabric you can either dry it or use it damp.
2. Prepare your Soda Ash Fixer solution by mixing 1 cup (8 oz.) of the Fixer per 1 gallon (128 oz.) of hot water.
3. While the 'Fixer cools down a bit prepare your dyes. Using your plastic cup mix 2 to 8 tsp. of dye (colors with no * on the label use 2 Tsp., for those with * on label use 4 Tsp., and for those with ** on the label use 8 Tsp.) in 8 oz. of warm water (not hot!) Next in another cup dissolve Urea 1 Tbsp. in a small amount of Hot water.
4. Pour Urea, after it has cooled down a bit, into the dye mixture. Transfer the dye mixed with Urea to an 8oz. squeeze bottle. You can mark on the outside of the bottle with a black permanent maker with which color you have poured into it. Do this process for all the dye colors you wish to use.
5. Put you pre-washed fabric in the Fixer solution. You only need to leave it in 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove it from the solution and gently wring out the excess. You can use the fabric either wet or dry. ( dry fabric soaks up much more dye)
6. Place your fabric in the container of your choice, the smaller containers give more finer white or lighter color spaces, the larger ones more color coverage and bigger white or lighter color spaces.
7. Using your squeeze bottle apply dye color where you want it. You may choose to do your application on top only, this may give a half and half effect - top side more intense bottom side very light. You could also flip the fabric around to the other side and apply the same color or even another color, play around with it for fun results!
8. After you are done applying the dye cover the container with a plastic bag. The idea is to keep the fabric wet and chemically active. Now you have the choice of letting the fabric sit for 24hrs which would yield the most intense color results or a less amount of time for lighter colors, again play around with this for fun!
9. After the fabric has sat for as long as you wanted it remove it from the bag and container. Rinse out the excess dye in warm running water, at first keeping the fabric in it's original shape when removed. Keep rinsing until the water runs fairly clear.
10. Do your final wash of the fabric, and you can put more than one piece of like colors fabrics in the machine just try to keep it to a few yards, in the washing machine in HOT (very important!) using a capful (for small loads) of Kieralon. Let the machine run a full regular cycle. All the remaining excess dye will be removed. You will notice after you dry it in the dryer - that the colors you saw when it was wet will have changed and be lighter.
11. After it's dry you may want to iron out the wrinkles, I like to iron it and fold to a shape that I can store flat in my sewing room.
12. Now the fun starts let your imagination go wild! You have created you very own hand dyed fabric, I bet you are addicted now! See how easy that was.
Fun Alternate Techniques:
Try laying your fabric out while damp from soaking in the soda ash on a piece of plastic (like a grocery bag). You can fold it or using your fingers gather in places to create a pattern, then pour your dye over it and cover it with plastic.
Also you can lay the fabric flat or place in a large box, poor dye on it and then sprinkle dry dye powder over it. The results are very cool, the dry dye powder breaks up into the many colors that were used to form it!
Tie-dye is not just for shirts too! Take you damp pre soaked in soda ash fabric and use rubber bans or poly thread to tie it up in any fun manor! You can even use the poly thread the sewn designs it on to the fabric!