Thursday, June 20, 2013

More Dyeing Q&A

Joyce has left a new comment on your post "Dyeing Q&A":

I LOVE the pleated dyeing...thanks for sharing!!! Can you explain about the surface you're using and how you stop the dye from running all over?

OK...Read carefully everyone, maybe even twice.
I put three layers of cotton together when I do Special Editions. Three layers absorbs the dye with minimal runoff. All three layers look the same in the washout which makes it easier to use up a piece from the set, knowing there is more where that 'perfect' one came from.

With pleated stripey, one can use a single layer of fabric if the desired outcome is watered down pastels. If full strength color is desired, two or three layers of PRINT CLOTH will work perfectly. One layer of MUSLIN is recommended for full strength pleated stripey, as the dye absorbs quickly and won't travel through more layers as easily.
For ease in handling multiple layers, I put them together and roll them up before soaking in the soda ash tub. Then I unroll and pleat or leave them flat, depending on the technique.

The platters or dyeing surface is Styrofoam insulation from Home Depot or Lowe's or anywhere that sells it. It comes in 4 by 8 feet sheets and I prefer the 5/8"-1" thickness.  I cut them to fit the shelves that I used to dry the fabric. The space between the uprights on this shelf is 45", so I must cut off three inches in order for the panel to fit. Styrofoam washes off quickly, is lightweight and easy to store in between dye sessions.

The top shelf has pleated muslin, one layer. Muslin is 48" wide so the ends are gathered up to fit onto the narrower platter. Under that shelf is Print cloth Special Editions in full strength dye, and below that shelf is very pastel Special Editions, three layers worth.


  1. Good morning! Love your colors! I have a question which may have already been asked but I couldn't find it----- what is print cloth. I Googled it and couldn't find the answer. Thanks in advance!

  2. Ok, three layers! You're so patient with us ;) and very generous with your knowledge too. Thanks!

  3. Genny4:13 PM

    Thank you for posting this information Melody.

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