Feb 13 2015

Experiments in Dying Fabric: Tumble Dye

Published by at 3:00 pm under Crafts

Tumbe dye dyed silk

I decided to try some experiments in dying using some new types of dye. Basically I was looking for a way to do interesting (non-solid color) dye patterns without having buckets of dye or using a stovetop.

Tumble dyes

The first one I decided to try was Tumble Dye which I picked up from Dharma Trading, the place I usually get my acid dyes for silk. Tub dying with acid dyes in simmering water is my usual method for dying silk. Tumble Dyes are supposed to basically be like paint from what I can tell.

Wet silk

I got a piece of silk wet and spread it out on the grass. I thought making it wet might make the colors blend a little more.

Tumble dye silk

Well, I sprayed it and it looked decent from afar and the colors looked like they blend, but there were a couple issues with it. The picture above is after washing.

First, the color doesn’t bleed through very well so the backside is much lighter, almost white.

Second, although the colors look blended above and in the top photo, if you look close, it kinda has a speckled look.

Third, even after washing, it was still a little stiff.

Fourth, it took nearly all three full bottles just to do one dye. The individual bottles aren’t that expensive, but they’re definitely more expensive per veil than acid dyes and my finger was tired from squirting through three bottles.

So, I think Tumble Dyes can be fun to use for other purposes, but not for the purposes of dying silk veils. I’ve got a couple more experiments to try, so we’ll see how those go . . .

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