Easy Fabric Dyeing
October 18, 2023
Can you guess what I did this week?? That’s right – I took another Creative Spark Learning course on easy fabric dyeing, and it was FANTASTIC! Today I wanted to share some of the highlights of Sam Hunter’s course – “Jelly Jar Fabric Dyeing” (that’s jam jar for us not in the US 🙂 .)
Dyeing my own fabric is something I’ve always wanted to try, but it’s always seemed like a bit of a drama – really messy, needs a lot of ‘stuff’, and some kind of chemistry degree to figure out the colours, but honestly, this course has shown me in about an hour and a half just how wrong I was.
Sam promises that dyeing fabric is easy – it doesn’t require any artistic knowledge, and is as easy as ‘baking a box of brownies’. She demonstrates that it is actually as simple as pouring a certain amount of dye into certain containers and stuffing in fabric.
As she says. “Give it a good shake and watch the magic happen.”
The Creative Spark platform is really user-friendly, and steps you through the course. In this case, there was a bunch of short videos, with a simple ‘click to continue’ button, and ‘click to download your workbook’. The workbook is great – it’s got all of Sam’s instructions and tips, as well as the secret recipes for her 24 step colour wheel. You’ll want to print this out and hang onto it for next time…
This course covers how to use just three basic dye colours (red, blue and yellow) to make your own 24 step colour wheel, and also how to then mute the colours for a different set of 24 – including cranberry, plum and olives and rusts.
(The original brights are to the left in the picture below, and the muted range is on the right.)
For fun too, Sam shows just how easy it is to make your own 6 or 8 step graduated colour sequence (and this part is dangerously fun!!), and she demos some easy fabric dyeing techniques on different fabrics too, for when you’re ready to experiment a bit more.
I couldn’t not give this a go, so this week I got my supplies, rolled up my sleeves and jumped in, boots and all!
Sam gave great instructions about where to get the dye supplies, however I couldn’t easily get those brands in Australia, so I spoke with a more local dye supplier here, and used her recommendations for the Procion dye and fabric wash. The quantities changed a bit, but the result was just as great.
I found nice big glass jars at a dollar shop, and they were only $2 each.
I followed the recipes as they were listed, and I have to confess that my inner science nerd loved that part (!). It is super easy, but I really liked the logic of it, and I’m already thinking about what I could do to play around with it a bit more next time.
Jars labelled and ready for fabric!
… and fabric in!
I left my fabric for 24 hours in the jars.
Probably the worst part of this easy fabric dyeing process is washing the fabric at the end. It’s not hard, just a bit tedious. Having said that though – it was fun opening each jar in turn and seeing how the fabric had coloured.
My only other tip would be to tear your fabric into the sizes you want to dye, rather than cutting. You get a lot of threads either way, but I found there was less tangled up together in the machine for the fabric I tore into size, than for the fabric I rotary cut.
And Ta Dah – all this from 3 colours!!!
It’s so bright and fabulous, and yes – I just want to keep playing with the colours and patting it all…
I dyed 1/2 yard pieces, and now I have 12 YARDS of yummy fabric to play with!
And as I had some red and blue dye left over, I did Sam’s 6-step colour gradient process too, going from dark to lighter.
This was a learning curve too – Sam’s steps were easy to follow, however it started raining when I had just started doing this outside, so I finished it up really quickly. Too late, I remembered I hadn’t stirred in the salt properly, and none were poked or mixed around as well as my bright lot, so I have ended up with a kind of wonderful blotchy effect on this batch. It’s going to be perfect fabric for applique I think.
So now I’m hooked. I LOVED this process – Sam’s course made it super simple to do and understand, and it really is easy fabric dyeing.
As she said: “You’re going to dye one set of this and then dye everything in the house that isn’t moving.”.
Couldn’t agree more. Ella look out…!!
And the Fun for You Part – Creative Spark have given me one “Jelly Jar Fabric Dyeing” course by Sam Hunter to Give Away to one lucky reader this week!
To be in the running for access to this class for Free (it’s usually $57.99USD), just leave a comment below letting us know why you’d like to give this easy fabric dyeing a go, and we’ll choose one lucky reader randomly on next Wednesday.
Good luck, and remember, you’ve got to be in it to win it!
Enjoy your week!
47 responses to “Easy Fabric Dyeing”
Welcome to our
Online Quilt Magazine Blog
Read through to discover hints and tips, articles from magazine contributors, sneak peeks and more!
Please enter your email address in the box below to receive notification of
new posts by email.