Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thread Dyeing Made Easy

Whenever I have my dyes made up for fabric dyeng, I like to dye some thread.  It doesn't require much dye and it gives me an opportunity to experiment.  I usually wrap my thread around an elongated object like the lid to a plastic shoebox, but then it gets all tangled as I go through the process. 

So I had a brainstorm and scrounged around for some cardboard toilet paper rolls.
I wrapped a bunch of DMC floss around the tube.  I have a cone of it.  Believe it or not, I found it on for a really good price.
 I secured the end with a staple.

The next step was to soak it in the soda ash solution. 
I dissolve 1/2 cup of soda ash in 1 quart of warm water.  Soda ash is essential in making sure that the dye is permanent.

 To get a variegated thread, first I dipped one end in a blue dye and then the other end in a red dye.  In the middle where the dyes overlapped, I got purple.

I repeated this with  two other colors of dye.

 And then the whole thing gets wrapped and put aside to set overnight. 
After washout, look at those beautiful colors. 

And just in case you wonder what I use them for, I do hand stitched fusible applique.  The variegated colors add another layer of interest and texture.
Have you heard that they are going to eliminate that cardboard roll inside of toilet paper to save a few cents? Actually it does make sense in terms of saving trees - lots of trees.  But we better start saving them for future thread dyeing!


  1. Really neat idea for dying, we all have those, lol.
    I need to do some floss, love to over dye colors too.


  2. That is so creative! I love the colors of the threads...just lovely!

  3. simply beautiful!
    and if they do discontinue the tubes, just buy a cheap toilet-paper-roller-holder (do they have a name?) at the hardware store (then you can reuse it to your heart's content!)


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