How to Dye Fabric – Painting Fabric with Dye

Hi, I’m Clara from Online Fabric Store. By painting fabric with dye, you can create beautiful watercolor effects by blending and bleeding colors. It can be as simple or complex as you want. So let’s get started. The materials you’ll need are: fabric or an item of clothing, Rit dye, fixative (which is optional), a paint brush or foam brush, a spoon, cups, plastic wrap, rubber gloves, and plastic to cover your work space and a pot for boiling water. Make sure your work space is covered with plastic or something to protect it from staining. I’m also putting down a layer of plastic wrap a little larger than the piece of fabric. This way I can easily wrap it up in the plastic to microwave later. For best results use a fabric made from natural fibers like cotton and pre-wash the fabric. Soak it in warm water while you mix the dye. Heat water to near boiling and pour into cups. Shake the dye, add it to the water, and stir. The more dye you use, the darker and more saturated the color will be. Squeeze out the excess water. If you leave the fabric wet it will bleed more, or if you use dry fabric, the bleeding will be minimal. Lay the fabric flat on the plastic. Use a foam brush or paint brush to apply the dye. A large brush will cover bigger areas or use a small brush or eyedropper for more detail. Using fixative is optional but recommended to help preserve the color. Attach a spray nozzle to the fixative or put it in a spray bottle and saturate the fabric. Rit dye loves heat, so to further set the color, I’m going to microwave it. Cover the fabric with another layer of plastic wrap and fold it up. Press the edges of the plastic together to seal it. You can place it in a microwave safe bowl or on top of paper towels and microwave it for 30 seconds. Check to make sure the fabric isn’t getting scorched and the plastic isn’t melting, and then microwave it for another 30 seconds. Remove the plastic and rinse in warm water, then cold, until the water runs clear. Machine wash on cold and dry. I like how the back side turned out best because the plastic under it created some interesting effects. You can combine this painting method with other techniques like batik dyeing or create a multi-colored ombre. Thanks for watching this OFS project.

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