Last week I wrote about dyeing some nylon/acrylic in the slow cooker with landscape dyes which can be found here.

Whilst the slow cooker was bubbling away, I was also dyeing cotton yarn and canvas shoes! These take a different dye and different dyeing process.

I used Drimarene K dyes. These are fibre reactive dyes. I had a little starter pack my mum gave me years ago. This included a red, blue, yellow, rubinole, and a black. I have since got larger quantities of the red, yellow and blue to further experiment.

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Using the fibre reactive dye requires your textile to be first soaked in Soda Ash. After that you paint, dip, squeeze the dye onto your object.

I started out with a pair of canvas shoes. I squeezed the dye out of sauce bottles on the first shoe. I quickly discovered that this put too much dye on the surface and I found it extremely hard to control, and I had dye running everywhere!

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Attempt #1 = fail! It’s all part of the process 🙂

Luckily these are just practice shoes, and on the next one I experimented with painting the dye on with paint brushes. Winner!

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Attempt #2 was much better! Learnt a few things!

To get the best results from these dyes, you keep them moist for 24 hours before rinsing. I put each shoe into a ziplock bag, and placed them in a nice warm spot for the night.

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wrap them up and leave over night

I had another pair of shoes to practice on. This time I painted each shoe. And they looked great!

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Getting better at this shoe dyeing thing!

After letting them sit for 24hrs, I rinsed them, then put them through a washing cycle. Using Synthrapol to get rid of excess dye.

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Drying in the window

Now I’m fairly confident with dyeing the shoes, we have ordered Converse to dye as well. Guy has high tops and I have ordered low tops. These will be for our “Colourful Wedding” in November.

I also tried my hand at dyeing some of the cotton I wrote about in my last post. For this I layed out a skein of the presoaked cotton on a length of glad wrap. I then squirted the dyes on in a stripe pattern. Then I wrapped the glad wrap around it. A bit of a squeeze helped blend the colours, but not too much as to make a mess of it. I left it wrapped for 24hrs as well before giving it a good rinse. I have to hope a good hand rinsing will be ok for this, as it won’t get a proper washout until it has been made into something.

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cotton yarn drying

 

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Yarn balled up. You can see the effect dyeing the yarn like this has.

There will be plenty more dyeing adventures in my future. I still need to dye two pairs of converse shoes for the wedding, and a tie to match! Not to mention how much fun I have dyeing yarn! And I have a massive bag of white roving that needs dyeing too!