Tips & Tricks A new Dye Thread

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by GentleBant, Apr 8, 2002.

  1. GentleBant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 1999
    star 5
    First of all, let me say a gigantic "Thank you" to everyone who helped me out my first attempt at the flame dress costume.

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!


    This time around, I'm using a lovely orange-gold stretch velvet. I'd like to try the spray bottle method. I've looked at various dyes at the Dharma online page that people keep mentioning.

    Question 1: Which dye would work best for what I need to do?

    Question 2: How much would I need?

    Question 3: Would an orange-red work for the top part? (I've got a red-orange piece for the hood.) Or should I mix a bit of brown into it to make it darker?
  2. KirstenSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2002
    star 1
    What kind of material is your velvet made out of? That's what determines what kind of dye you're using.

    I ran out of fabric for my pre-senate handmaiden costume, so I started on my flame gown tonight. I'm using a white 100% silk velvet for the outer pieces, and I have two dyes from Dharma I'm going to use: a bright yellow and a red. After doing a lot of research online, I determined that I'm going to suspend my finished gown over the dye, then lower it into the dye in increments every 10 minutes. That will give me a vivid dark color on the top, graduating down to a light color. I'll start with the yellow, then I'll do the red. Yellow + red = orange.

    So far I'm still working out my pattern for the undershirt. I'd like to be able to cut the hood and shirt out of the same piece of fabric so I can avoid seams, so this is taking a bit of mock-up work.
  3. GentleBant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 1999
    star 5
    I'm using a stretch panne velvet, I believe.
  4. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    I have a question too, for anyone who wants to answer....my fabric for the picnic corset is White 100% polyester. I need to dye it yellow-ish gold, but I've never dyed anything before. What dyes work best on polyester, and how much should I use? I don't want to make it too dark, obviously, so I was going to go a little darker each time untill I get the color I want. Is this a good idea?
  5. LovelyLotus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    Mrs. Do a test dye process on a small swatch of same type matieral. If you use a color fast dye you can see the dying process as it goes, and layer the color on as needed to achieve the correct tones.

  6. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    ahh I am so nervous about this! I don't want to ruin the most perfect fabric I've been able to find!
  7. KirstenSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2002
    star 1
    Is it polyester or cotton? Unfortunately, polyester does not take dye well. :( Most synthetic fabrics don't. Now if it's cotton on the other hand, no problem!
  8. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    nooooo! It's 100% Polyester! It has to take! The texture is prefect! The best I have found :eek:(
  9. GentleBant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 1999
    star 5
    :~)

    I'm sure mine has a lot of synthetic in it, but I did see that Dharma has a sort of paint-like dye....would this change the feel/softness of the material? And would it work for spray dyeing?
  10. QuiGon_butnot4gotten Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2001
    star 3
    Time to show my ignorance with all things associated with dyeing. I was wondereing what excactly the process is for dyeing. do you do it in a bucket, the bathtub, or your washer?
  11. KirstenSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2002
    star 1
    Mrs. M, I'd try one of the acid dyes, and dye your fabric in a pot on your stove. Wash your fabric first, then start with the amount of dye the instructions call for. You'll probably end up having to use 3-4x the suggested amount, but first follow the instructions exactly so you can see how much more you'll need. Lotus' idea of trying a sample piece is definitely a good idea.

    GB, the paints will probably work really well for you, as long as you get one of the more expensive types. With a spray technique, the texture of your fabric shouldn't change. :)

    QuiGon, for me, it depends entirely on what kind of dye I'm using and what kind of fabric I have. For large amounts of cotton, I use the washer, for silks, I use a pot on the stove (or the microwave occaisionally!), and for special projects like this one, I have a rubbermaid tub with wheels on the bottom so I can wheel my dye outside.
  12. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Qui-Gon, being the novice "dyer" that I am, I've always gone the washing-machine route. And it has yet to fail me. :) 'Course, it's ultimately up to you.

    kreleia ^.^
  13. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    Here's another stupid question: How do you dye something in your washing machine? And if you do use your washing machine, will it stain clothes the next time you do laundry?

    As far as my fabric goes, how would you guys reccomend washing it? I don't want it to fray or fall apart, you know? Any suggestions?
  14. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Mrs. M, for washing-machine dyeing, just follow the instructions that come with whatever dye you purchase. Most of them have the washing machine "method" printed right with them. (Rit definitely does) If not, Dharma Trading actually has directions on their website. I believe it's under their "How-To-Info" section.

    The basic run-down - pre-wash your fabric to get all the finish and store dirt off, pre-mix the amount of dye you need with hot water, fill the washer with hot water and some salt (the amount of salt depends on the type of dye you're using - anywhere from a cup or two to a pound or two), add dye and "agitate" before adding fabric. Add the fabric while it's still wet (or re-wet it), and then allow the machine to agitate for at least 30 minutes. Most machines won't go that long, so you have to run in and out to check on it and re-set (at least, I do). The general rule with dye is, the longer you leave the fabric in, the darker it gets. Also, at the end of the wash cycle, as it begins to fill with rinse water, I dump a bunch of vinegar into the water. Vinegar actually helps set the color and keeps it from bleeding out too much during rinsing.

    EDIT: Dyeing in the washing-machine *will* leave color in the tub of the machine. Just run a full cycle with bleach, detergent and hot water (no fabric or clothing) to get the dye out afterwards. I've never had a problem with left-over dye getting on my other clothes.

    For polyester fabric, you'll have better luck dyeing on the stove over a constant high heat source. Polyester has to have high temperatures in order to take the color, and the hot water in the washing machine isn't quite hot enough. This will probably take some experimenting on your part to see how long and how hot.

    EDIT: (part 2) The type of fabric you have would probably best be washed by hand or in a gentle cycle in cool water. The dyeing method on the stove should be okay for it too, since it won't be churning in an automatic machine that doesn't care about the fragility of it.

    I hope some of that helps!
    kreleia ^.^
  15. QuiGon_butnot4gotten Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2001
    star 3
    Thanks for the help KS. Thank also to the Queen(I'll see you on Saturday, prepare to have your brain picked for more C&P info ;))
  16. Shara Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2000
    star 4
    Okies, I have a question. I'm going to be working on a General Princess Leia w/o poncho costume. I probably won't find the exact colors I want, but I'll probably be adyeing a few things. What brand dyes are good to use? What is a good method for a light dye job?
  17. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    The brand of dye you use depends entirely on what you read online. **laugh** Just about every "real" dye site out there says RIT sucks and don't use it.

    I like RIT - it's always worked well for me (except in the case of dyeing something black). But I suppose if you do a lot of tye-dyeing and fabric painting, it's not the way to go.

    For getting a lighter effect, you can either decrease the amount of dye you use, or the length of time the fabric is in the dye bath. It's best to actually decrease the amount of dye, though. And, with Rit, you just use half the package instead of the whole thing.

    Man, it's kinda strange to be doling out advice on dyeing when I'm still new to it myself. Guess I've done more than I realized. **laugh**

    kreleia ^.^
  18. GentleBant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 1999
    star 5
    kreleia--you're doing a great job of handing out advice! I'll bet you dye like a pro!


    OK, I bit the bullet, so to speak, and ordered a spray bottle and dyes from Dharma. Feedback/opinions?
    Here's the order:
    Pump Pressure Spray Bottle
    #PUMP  StockInfo:  each one comes w/ an extra nozzle 2 $4.49 $8.98

    Instant-set Pigment Silk Dye - 4 Oz. - 10 Yellow
    #PDYE4  Dilute 2-4 times w/water. Heat setting helps retain even more color-wash out excess! not recommended for furniture!! 1 $7.49 $7.49

    Instant-set Pigment Silk Dye - 4 Oz. - 15 Orange
    #PDYE4  Dilute 2-4 times w/water. Heat setting helps retain even more color-wash out excess! not recommended for furniture!! 1 $7.49 $7.49

    Instant-set Pigment Silk Dye - 4 Oz. - 25 Red-Yellow
    #PDYE4  Dilute 2-4 times w/water. Heat setting helps retain even more color-wash out excess! not recommended for furniture!! 1 $7.49 $7.49

    Instant-set Pigment Silk Dye - 4 Oz. - 35 Rubine
    #PDYE4  Dilute 2-4 times w/water. Heat setting helps retain even more color-wash out excess! not recommended for furniture!!


    This was the main dye recommended for use with nylons/stretchy/synthetic fabrics. I'm using it on a stretch panne that is originally yellow-orange in color. Should this work?
  19. Shara Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2000
    star 4
    So what is this Dharma that I keep hearing about?

    Well, it's kind of funny. Now light blue and light grey pants are in style, stretchy too. So are 3/4 lenght beige/light brown button up tops. Problem is that the pants aren't just the right color, but I may settle. We'll see. I'd love to work on something that I could dye, though, sometime. Thanks!
  20. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Bant, I've never done spray-application dyeing like that, but what you have sounds really good to me! :) And, if that's what the folks at Dharma are recommending, then it's probably going to work fabulously!

    Shara, we're talking about Dharma Trading. They sell all kinds of dyes, dye equipment, fabrics for dyeing, and even clothing items for dyeing. Their prices are really reasonable too - I just bought 5 yards of Habotai Silk from them for $30. .... ummm... okay, I'm turning into a living Dharma commercial. ACK!! [face_laugh] But they're good!!

    kreleia ^.^
  21. Jedi_Samantha Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    Rit Dye works well. I used it yesderday. I even got the color i wanted (Eggplant) by using 3 navy blue packets and 1 black. And my mom was happy too... her washing machine isnt purple! (Thats cause i dumped half a bottle of bleach into the washing machine after i was done...and left it agitate for about 20 minutes)

    Just one peice of advice. WEAR GLOVES EVEN WHEN OPENING THE PACKETS. Silly me i didnt and now my nails are blue...but its almost gone now.
  22. GentleBant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 1999
    star 5
    Poor Jedi Samantha! I've done that before! Cooking with blueberries can also leave you some really interestingly colored fingernails. I'm glad your coloring worked out for you!


    I got the dye yesterday. As soon as I finish the skirt on my flame dress, it's dye time! :~) I'll post pics when I get more done, if all goes well.
  23. Jedi_Samantha Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    1 week later.. theres still dye on my finger...lol

    I actually need to give my robe another dye bath on friday. It needs to be alittle more bright. Its very dull right now.

    I'll post pics friday
  24. jedi_blynnj Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2002
    star 1
    I just got my dyes from Dharma Trading. Has anyone ever used their Procroin dyes. I bought all the extra stuff, like soda ash. But does anyone have any tips, before I start on that next week?
  25. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    blynnj, I'm going to be doing my dyeing today with the Procion dye from Dharma. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    kreleia ^.^