May 9, 2013

Dyeing experiment

Yesterday I had purchased some white jumbo ric rac for possible inclusion in my next hop project.  When I got home I promptly found out it was too bright and made the block element look a little "dingy".  Maybe I should have looked for a cream colored piece??  Did the dialed back sewing department at the big box store even have any?

I remembered that the February Button Up had suggested using bright yellow ric rac around the hearts.  See THIS POST  or the picture I culled from the post.  I went with white and dyed white slightly along with the striped fabric to tone it down.

Joined at The Hip suggested taking a 1/2 cup of water and adding a tablespoon of liquid dye to a dedicated to dyeing glass measuring cup.  Then cooking in the microwave at one minute intervals till you get the shade you want.  Rinse and then dry it.

I know I didn't do that before as I had yardage and probably went with the washing machine instead.  Who remembers after almost a year and half.  Then I just wanted to do with the tannish piece I was using at the center that read "February"

Okay, so here I am with white ric rac again----go back to the store or try microwave dyeing?  What do I have to lose as I have tan dye and plenty of white ric rac.  I could always go back if I don't care for the results.

Here are the results of the experimentation------and something for me to refer to in the future.

Top one, cooked for three minutes and it just looks sort of greeny-taupe.  It's okay but not the shade I was hoping for.

 I thought perhaps the contents had settled and gave the bottle a shake.  I dumped the top mixture but the measuring cup was already warmed up.  The second one was only in there for 30 seconds----nice but too dark.

3rd one down, just barely dipped and it looks about right.  

About this time my husband asks "what are you making?"  ever hopeful of a treat of some sort, I'm guessing. The cookies I left him after last week's sew-in are dwindling after all, LOL.  When I told him "a mess" and "dyeing ric rac" he said he was sorry he asked.

BUT how about a yellow shade??   I had things to drop off with Marilyn  and I could stop at Winn Dixie on the way over or back.  They had a limited selection of the liquid dyes but did have a yellow (goldenrod) in the powder form.  I used about a tsp and half to the half cup of water but heated the water first to dissolve the dye.

Top yellow---cooked for about 30 seconds.  I could have pulled it a bit sooner if I wanted it paler but how much dye will rinse out??

Tried it again and most of the dye DID wash out so I moved one.

Bottom yellow orange---double dipped but cooked for a minute.  Of course, it boiled over on the microwave table---hurriedly washed up that mess with plenty of soapy water.  I never stick anything straight down on the turntable anyway but sure did not want to inadverently consume any of this.

At this point I think I will go with the light yellow if I do indeed use it for this project.  What am I out but a package of ric rac and I gained some knowledge on how to do this in the future.  I like folk arty stuff so it is apt to come up!

I am all set to baste down the applique elements today.  Mr. Light Box and I have a date after lunch, LOL.  With all this playing I barely got started on the blog hop but the girls will understand.


  1. Nice to see that I am not alone when it comes to experimenting. I must admit that I have never dyed rick-rack in the microwave - so thanks for sharing the how-to and your results - ;))

  2. I sure appreciate your sharing of this trial and error of dyeing and results! I have long wanted to play with dyeing fabric...even bought a kit-out in the garage it waits for that "some day" time LOL....


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