I’m not kidding when I say that I’m a little, just a bit, addicted to this bleaching and dying process of clothing! I recently talked about how I reverse dyed a few of the shirts that I had, and now I’m moving on to dying.
Let’s just take a look at the two “before” shots of the shirts that I’m about to dye. The flannel is 100% cotton which helps when trying to get the dye to set into the fabric, and STAY in the fabric.
This sweatshirt below was one of the ones that I bleached too much previously. It used to be a dark mustard color and I didn’t like how the pattern was looking when I was bleaching it, so I just bleached all of the color out. It’s not 100% cotton but it did just fine in the dying process.
Here’s the super quick DIY that I used to make my shirts…I first had my sweet hubs bleach my flannel for me. My health has not been the best over the years and the bleach was just starting to get to me. I used around 3 parts bleach to 2 parts water. He soaked it in the bleach, fully submerged, for about 10-15 minutes, and then washed it out in the hose until the bleach was all rinsed out.
You can see in the photo below, the bleach did take out the dark color, but there is still some color left. We could have bleached it longer to see if it would take out more color but I liked the color that it had turned, while leaving it in for only 10-15 minutes.
I added a couple of gallons of warm water to my kitchen sink and mixed in a cup of soda ash. I then rinsed all of the shirts that we were going to be using in the dying process. The soda ash helps to rinse out the remaining color and bleach and allows for the color/dye, when applied, to stay in the fabric better.
This is the dye that I used. It was recommended from several tutorials that I had watched. It worked great and there is lots left over for my next time around.
I mixed about a teaspoon of dye to four ounces of water in a squirt bottle filled with warm water. I made sure to wash and wipe off my teaspoon in between measuring of a new color so that the colors would not mix together. I would have used larger squirt bottles if I had them, but the 4 ounce ones were the ones that I had left over from my tie dye kit that I had used in the past.
I laid each shirt, one at a time, into a large plastic tub, sprayed on the dye where I wanted it, and made sure that it had soaked in on the front and back side. I wanted an ombre look, so I sprayed the flannel with black on the top portion, medium blue in the center, and turquoise on the bottom portion.
The key is, make sure your gloves are wiped off with paper towel in between switching dye colors. This keeps from accidentally getting dye on an area that you would rather not have that particular color on. (I added this photo below of the dying process of another shirt that I just finished at the end of this post, since I didn’t take pics of this process the first time around)
In tutorial that I had watched/read, a lot of people use drying racks to lie their shirts on, over the tub, while dying…it helps for the dye to drain. I did not have an issue not using one since I was doing an ombre look and wanted the whole portion that I was spraying to be dyed, front and back. A drying rack is definitely a great option too.
I laid a painter’s canvas/tarp down on my driveway, and laid plastic wrap on top of that…enough that would cover the space where my wet/dyed shirt was going to lie. I dyed one shirt at a time in the tub, rinsing the tub in between each shirt. I wanted to make sure the tub was completely clean each time so that I would not get dye in an undesired place when I started on the next shirt. When I had the dye covered on the shirt in the places that I desired, I took each shirt out of the bin and laid them down on the plastic on top of the painters canvas. I let them sit overnight and then rinsed them out with the hose in the morning until the dye ran clear.
I then washed them with detergent in my washing machine on quick cycle (because I’m antsy), 1x on cold and 1x on warm, and then dried them. I love how some of the color from underneath is peeking through on the flannel. I also hadn’t planned on the streaks of blue being on the shirt, but they are perfect. I’m sure that is where the shirt was bunched up a bit when lying overnight with the dye on it.
For this sweatshirt below, I used black on top and turquoise on the bottom. You can see how the dye really faded out when I rinsed and washed it after. I love the faded look! My 16 year old daughter is about to steal this one too…she has already warned me.
I used Orly Shani’s you tube tutorial (that one of you sent to me) for the flannel design and I love the others that she created too! Out to some thrift stores to find more flannels, I go! What do you think? Is this something that you would want to try? You can join my dying addict club…I promise it would be fun.
I tried some others with various color patterns. It’s tough to imagine how they are going to turn out, but I’m loving all of them! I forgot to take before photos of these…the one below used to be black and white.
I’m sure there will be lots more to come. This truly is so much fun! This one below used to be orange, white, and tan, with a little blue…
I found some white t- shirts, that I loved the style of, at Walmart for $3. They aren’t 100% cotton so they don’t hold the color as good, but I love the faded look! I dyed this one, below, with black on top, fuchsia next, and finished with turquoise.