Fabric Dyeing

Despite the large number of dyed fabrics on the shelf in my studio, sometimes I just don’t have the color I want. What do I do then?

There are a few options:

  • Use a different color, which obviously affects the other color choices in the piece.
  • Go to a fabric store and see if they have a color I want. This option is not really an option, in my opinion, as the commercial solid colored fabrics are limited and then they also have a different look than hand dyed fabrics.
  • Dye some more fabric. (I try to only dye fabric when the temperature is above 70 degrees, if I can help it. Because the dyes set better with heat and I work outside.)

I was in need of some more colors for some artworks I had in mind. Since it was quite hot in Boise several weeks ago, I went to work dyeing some fabric. Here are the results.

I did some gradations of some colors I needed. And some single specific colors.

There were some colors I just mixed for fun, playing with the dyes I had leftover.


And I pulled some colors from my shelf that I thought I would never use as they were and over dyed them. There are some of those above. The ones below I had cut a little piece of the fabric before I dyed it so I could see what the difference looked like.

A few of them I just wanted to tone down a little, so added just a little of a complementary color or some other mixture of color. The first blue on the left I made darker and toned down the blue some. The second blue I wanted to make a little warmer. It got grayed down as well. The next two colors had more purple than I would like, so they got neutralized. The turquoise I toned down just a little with a bit of orange. There is some difference between the before and after in the next two but it is hard to tell from the picture. The last purplish color had more red added to it.

Hopefully, the over-dyed colors will now get used in some future projects.

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