19 Sep 2011
The title of this post really refers more to me than to anyone else–this was my first project using RIT dye, so it’s 101 for me! I have been wanting to try working with it for a while now, ever since I saw Marisa Lynch work magic with it. Marisa Lynch is pretty much my hero–she takes crazy thrift store garments and turns them into amazing outfits with her sewing, a little RIT dye sometimes, and tons of creativity! She has some great tutorials over on her blog, New Dress A Day. It’s impossible to quantify how much she has inspired me!
So, I started out with this old white tablecloth, which was beloved for many years (although I adore bright colors, I like to use white a lot in living space and bedroom linens because it really brightens the space and actually makes it look bigger, I think), but which now has accumulated some stains. I decided to try dyeing it a deep purple (since the stains are mostly from wine anyway!)
There are a lot of different ways to use RIT dye (on the stove top, in the washing machine, etc.), but I decided to do mine in a bucket out on the balcony. And of course, my bucket was purple too. I suppose I am nothing if not consistent:)
The process is really pretty simple. First, fill a bucket with hot water (I put mine out on the balcony, on some plastic, just in case of spills). Then, dissolve the dye in 2 cups of warm water. It might need a stir here, so this is why it’s good to have 40 more pairs of wooden chopsticks than you really need. 🙂
Pour the dissolved dye into the bucket and stir a bit. Then, get the fabric you are dying wet, as this makes it easier to get it into the bucket.
Put the fabric in and stir. The box said to stir for 10-30 minutes, but I stirred it pretty periodically, and that seemed to turn out fine.
I actually left my fabric in the dye overnight, and this gave it a really deep color that I was really excited about! The next step is the rinsing. I cut the top and bottom off of a big water jug to make a little funnel to keep the dye from getting on the sink.
It turns out, though, that I’m a bit clumsy, and I definitely got some dye on the sink, but I bleached it as soon as I was done, and it was as good as new! I put gloves on and rinsed the fabric probably 6 or 7 times, until the water I wrung out of it ran clear.
Then I hung it up to dry, and soon it was ready for its new life on our kitchen table!