Fiber-Reactive Cloth Dyeing - 10/27/12 1:30PM

Make Better Colors Than This!

Saturday, October 27th starting at 1:30PM, we will be having a class instruction on fiber-reactive cloth dyeing.  This type of dyeing is used mainly for plant-based fibers like cotton or linen.  We will discuss a bit about the chemistry of why it works, talk about some of the different application methods, and then everyone will have an opportunity to put these skills to use.   There will be a $10 materials fee for this class.

Fiber-reactive cloth dyeing is a method that works best for cloth-based fabrics, though they do have some effect on dyeing synthetic fabrics as well.  Using these dyes on natural-synthetic blends can result in pastel colors as the different fibers pick up colors differently.  This class will cover some of the basic chemistry of the dyeing reaction, and why these dyes are much more effective than the general purpose dyes that can be found in most local stores (i.e. RIT). 

After covering the reaction, the class will discuss some of the application techniques and show some examples of what the different techniques produce.  This will include immersion dyeing, low-water immersion dyeing, resist dyeing (like the Japanese style Itajme shown above), tie-dyeing, and dye painting.  These topics will be covered quickly mostly to show a variety of possible techniques for participants to try.

Attendees will be provided all necessary materials to undertake dyeing a sample cloth panel using the style of their choice, and are welcome to bring their own cotton t-shirts to customize.  Any cloth brought to be dyed should be washed. The instruction period will take approximately 30-40 minutes.  The dyeing process will take 15-90 minutes depending on the style selected and color depth desired.  That will be followed by a rinsing period requiring some manual labor to remove the excess dye from the cloth.   Sample panels should be safe to transport at that point.  An overnight soak will remove the last of the excess dye, and the final panel will be colorfast.

Because we will be working with dyes, it is strongly recommended that attendees wear old clothes.  It is extremely likely that you will be splashed or splattered with dye.  Hope to see you there!