View Full Version : Dyeing cotton...

10-28-2007, 08:52 PM
Quick question... can you dye cotton? like Peaches and Creme or Sugar Lilly?... I have two cones of white cotton and want to make dishclothes to give on Christmas, but was wondering if I can dye them using koolaid... and if I do it, will they bleed?

10-29-2007, 12:34 AM
Koolaid and wilton's will not dye cotton, I have tried. It washes out after a few washes. I think someone on here said that rit (sp?) dye works on cotton, but have not tried this myself.

10-29-2007, 12:46 AM
Thank you!! I might have to just make them plain white then... I would be really embarrased if they bleed when they are been used... hehehe

Lady Violet
10-29-2007, 12:57 AM
i believe there are RIT dyes for denim. those should definitely work on cotton.

10-29-2007, 03:12 AM
Rit dyes will work on cellulose fibers including cotton but they do bleed in the wash and need to be heated to take properly. A better option is a fiber reactive dye. Procion mx is a good fiber reactive dye and you may be able to find it at an indepent arts and crafts store if you have any around. If you don't, look for Dylon permanent fabric dye (they're in colored pouches): Joann's and Walmart carry dylon and I think a few other big box arts and craft stores do as well. Each packet dyes a half pound to a medium shade.

Fiber reactive dyes do need to be extensively washed out after dyeing: one cold wash and at least one hot wash, but once all the extra dye comes out it won't bleed anymore while items dyed with RIT dye will bleed a little bit each wash. Fiber reactive dye can also be used with warm water straight from the tap and doesn't need to be heated.

Paula burch's site is very helpful and if you have a question that isn't answered, there's even a dyeing forum.

10-29-2007, 08:22 AM
Paula burch's site is very helpful and if you have a question that isn't answered, there's even a dyeing forum.
http://www.pburch.net/dyeing.shtmlOh, I was just there looking around and there are some great prices on the dyes! You order through Amazon and the prices for the Jacquard dyes are the lowest I've seen so far.

10-29-2007, 09:08 AM
Rit dye is a multi-purpose dye. It contains dyes for both plant & animal. When dyeing cotton, you will see the dyes for wool bleed out. When dyeing wool, you will see the dyes for cotton bleed out.
Rinse well and 'set' with a salt water solution.

10-29-2007, 09:39 PM
Will Jaquard acid dyes work on cotton?

10-29-2007, 10:44 PM
Acid dyes will not work on cotton or any other cellulose (plant) fiber.

Cyndi, I have to differ in opinion with you. I have dyed protein/cellulose blends with acid dye and the acid dye has always washed out of the cellulose fibers fairly easily. The cellulose dye in RIT is a direct dye and doesn't stay as firmly fixed as fiber reactive dye does. I haven't dyed any of my cellulose yarns with RIT (I have used it with wool and it worked fine IMHO) only because I learned my lesson before with cotton fabric.

If the garment is intended to be hand washed in warm water instead of thrown into the washer then the yarn might not bleed as much, but I'd still reccomend fiber reactive for cellulose fibers because it's just better dye and on the same price level, if not even a little cheaper.

10-30-2007, 09:04 AM
no problem with differing opinions! :) My experience with Rit dyes are limited to a long-long-long time ago (60's & 70's tie dye!!)
My dyes of choice now are more natural dyes so have no experience with the fiber reactive dyes.
I appreciate your knowlege!