October 15th, 2009

red panda eating bamboo

AKICODW/LJ/FB: dying fabric in the washing machine

I have four organic cotton king-sized sheets in "ivory" and I want to dye them a solid color using the washing machine. I don't feel strongly that the dye job should be perfect but I'd rather avoid the sheets bleeding out over other stuff in the wash later on. I've done a bunch of research on this on DharmaTraders.com and I gather I have two options:

•"iDye" prepackaged dye + fixative
•Procion dye + salt + soda ash

DharmaTraders says "iDye" is not very color-fast. We wash all our linens together on hot, so I figured it might not be a good option.

-->Have you used "iDye" and would you concur with this opinion?

DharmaTraders also recommends adding a number of extra ingredients to the Procion recipe in order to get a more uniform, more intense, and/or more lasting color. The ingredients are:
•urea for brightening and fixing the color
•special detergent for pre- and post-washing
•calsolene oil for more uniform color

They also recommend that you premix the dye and then pour it through a cloth filter.

The urea, detergent, and oil come in large packages compared to the amount I would use for this one project, and I'm not planning to make this a regular hobby, and I don't want to have extra chemicals lying around forever. So I'm wondering how important they are. Do you use them? Why or why not?