Originally Posted by Omitaali
Im dying a white denim into red for Kairis Valor form. Ive never dyed anything before, so any tips? Should I cut out my pattern first then dye the pieces, or do it as a whole piece?
Definitely dye your fabric first before cutting it. It may shrink. You also have to handle it a lot so you would fray the bejeezus out of the edges.
General tips for dyeing:
* Wear gloves and protect your work area
* Start with a sample - even a few inches of fabric is fine. Dyeing is not an exact science.
* It's easier to add dye then take it away. Start with a small amount of dye in the water bath. You can always add more.
* Wash your fabric before you dye it to get rid of any starch on the fabric (that's what makes it look nice on the bolt). Your fabric should be wet when you dye it so the dye takes evenly.
* When you put your fabric in the dye bath - swish it around every few minutes. Read the box for recommended times. Make sure to check the color periodically - again, it's easier to soak it longer / add more dye.
* There is no easy answer for "how much dye should I use". I usually start with the amount recommended on the box - or if I want the color to be lighter - I try 1/2 the amount on the box. I give the fabric a quick 10 second dunk and pull it out to try to gauge how quickly the dye is taking. I've dyed stockings in under 30 seconds.
* When you are happy with the color - take the fabric out, rinse it in cool water till the water runs clear then wash it again (woolite in a sink is fine - just enough to get out the stinky dye smell). Some dye may wash out so keep your dye bath around and go back in it if you want your fabric darker.
On a side note : polyester does not dye. If you have a cotton / poly mix, the cotton will take the dye but the polyester won't. It could end up with some cool effects.
Overall - the key to successful dyeing is to experiment! Test samples. Mix colors. If you want to see what a color will look like - drop some on a white paper towel.
PS - there is nothing to be afraid of. If you are really nervous, buy some inexpensive cotton muslin or take an old t-shirt or wash cloth and experiment on that. Most cotton fibers can be dyed in a bucket with the hottest water you can get out of the tap - no boiling requried.