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I bet you could Rit dye as long as you want a solid and all the fabric will fit in your washing machine. Otherwise, try Setacolor (which is non-toxic to use and colorfast after heat setting). It's a liquid that can be used indoors and mixed to your specs.

If you want to try other types of dyes, they require mordants, careful mixing, dedicated utensils, and protection when you mix the powders so you don't breathe them.


Another note--fabric that is PFD (prepared for dyeing) is very inexpensive, doesn't have any sizing or finish on it, and is better quality than bleached muslin. I'll check Fabric Depot and see if they have your width. Looks like 60" is the widest they carry--but it's very cheap!

I hope you are successful and have fun!

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I haven't done a lot of fabric dyeing but have been contemplating doing a batch.  I echo what Linda said about PDF fabric, and Dharma Trading Co. carries PDF muslin as well as dyes.  Procion dyes are what you'd want to look for.  (Jaquard dyes found at Michael's and JoAnn's are procion dyes, but I don't think lighter colors are available in the box stores, just primary colors.)


Edited to add - procion dyes do require mixing...and usually you soak the fabric in soda ash before hand to help absorb the color...but it sounds much scarier than it is.  Patsy Thompson is a big fan of these dyes and discusses her dye process at length on her blog.


Wide PDF muslin on Dharma's site -

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I have dyed large pieces for backs (with Procion dyes and use the soda ash for pools). I just got some of the better quality wide fabric at JoAnn's with a coupon and then washed it in the washer to remove anything in the fabric before dying. Works great especially for the snow dying. There are a lot of blogs that have info on dying and many of them are folks that are on this site. It is addictive once you start but you can get some really nice wide backs inexpensively. 

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I have done a lot of dyeing and teach classes. In general, your fabric, especially if it is not PFD fabric will need to be scoured. You need to remove any finishes that are on the fabric. Scouring is washing it in synthropal and hot water, so allow for shrinkage in your yardage. Scouring is not going to ensure that all finishes have been removed. The finishes usually mean the fabric may to be not  as dark or as evenly dyed as a PFD would be. I have dyed muslin from Joann's many years ago that was PDF, but I have not seen it there in a long time. What I found in using muslin, was that I never could get it pressed as smooth as I wanted after dyeing it. It always seemed to have really fine wrinkles. JoAnn's does carry the Kona PDF in 45" wide. With a 50% off coupon that is a good deal. I, too, use Procion dyes and soda ash (which can be obtained from pool supply places).  Your soda ash must be sodium carbonate, not sodium bicarbonate which is weaker bonding agent.


I like to use the fabric from Dharma that is their mercerized PFD cotton. Mercerization of a fabric will allow the dyes to appear more intense. What mercerization does is to round out the fibers so there is more surface area exposed to the dye and more color is reflected back at you. That is a really simple explaination of how it affects the out come of dyeing. I have used fabrics that are not PFD, scoured them and will attest to the fact that they don't dye as well as PFD fabrics. But it doesn't mean that they aren't good or fun to use. It just means they are different, but dyed.


If you don't want to use rit dye, Dharma Trading Co or Pro-Chemical carry supplies. Dharma is good for fabric too. If you decide to get in to dyeing, I reccomennd "Color by Accident" by Ann Johnston. She uses a low water immersion techinque that is a cross between dyeing and painting. It really is closer to dyeing and uses alot less water. If you do a low immersion dyeing, you will need urea, which will allow the water to hold more dye (thnk of it as making the water wetter).


It is fun! Have a great time!

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