Tutorial: How to dye cotton

After my food dye tutorial a few people have asked for a tutorial using cotton. Well here it is!

For this tutorial I got all my items from Lincraft. If you’re in Australia they are the ones to use! Such fast shipping and quality cotton.

You will need:

Dylon dyes

Sunflower Yellow
Available here: http://www.lincraft.com.au/dylon-hand-dye-2
Flamingo Pink
Available here: http://www.lincraft.com.au/dylon-hand-dye-4
Bahama Blue
Available here: http://www.lincraft.com.au/dylon-hand-dye-3
Squeeze containers similar to tomato sauce/mustard bottles

Cotton yarn
I used this one http://www.lincraft.com.au/shop/knitting-crochet/yarn/lincraft-cotton/lincraft-cotton-8ply-natural
Elastic bands
Warm water
Plastic bag

I began with crocheting my squares, but you can also dye the uncrocheted item. I love the chunky look so doubled the yarn and used an 7mm hook. Once everything is crocheted up it’s time to prepare for dyeing!

There are several ways to dye cotton, and my way is just one of many. I found it worked for me, but experimentation is the key.

Once again, I did this outside as the dye is unforgiving.

I wrapped my crochet squares with elastic bands. This was basically to keep them together for the first stage. Don’t worry too much and you don’t have to do this step if you don’t want to.

Next I mixed the dyes with warm water. Always follow the directions on the packet, but in this case I mixed one pack with 250ml water. I put this into the squeeze containers. Make sure it is well mixed! The containers make it easier to control the dye and is different to traditional dyeing where you submerge the item into a bucket of dye.

Now if the fun part, make sure your gloves are on!

Pour the dye into the cotton. Small amounts at a time until you are used to it! There is no right or wrong way. I found adding a tiny bit of water and squeezing the dyes together gave a really nice effect and helped them blend. I then cut the elastic bands off and filled in the remaining areas  with dye. Keep going until you are happy with the results.

Place your item into a plastic bag and leave overnight where cats/dogs/small children cannot get at it.

Rinse the item in water until the water runs clear. Place somewhere to dry and enjoy!

The result is unpredictable and amazing! I love playing with colours and seeing what happens.

I’ll turn these into cushions so stay tuned for photos!


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