Organic Prepared for Dying Fabric Test #3

I’ve been searching for a source of organic fabric that’s been prepared-for-dyeing (PFD) and takes Procion MX fiber reactive dyes well. Last fall I came up with 2 strong hues, a teal and an orange, that I mix from primary colors to test a fabrics ability to really absorb the dye and have an intense color. The reason I’m using hues that I mix is because the mottling I get when I do my low water immersion dyeing is more pronounced when I mix 2 or more primary colored dyes together, and that visual texture is why I dye all my fabric. I use this same “recipe” with each batch of fabric that I test, the amount of dye powder and water is relative to the weight of the fabric, so that from test to test, I can compare the different fabrics and make some conclusions. I always include my usual PFD I buy wholesale to make sure that I’ve not screwed up something!

Last week, the ladies at Sew Mama Sew contacted me and asked if I’d like to test some new organic PFD they’re carrying. I couldn’t reply YES fast enough…because this is a whole line of organic fabric in multiple weights and weaves from Robert Kaufman. I followed the same protocol as I did for my earlier tests, and dyed the 5 different types of Kaufman organic PFD, along with my control fabric:

The fabric weights ran the gamut from a light, airy, gauzy voile at 2.25 ounces/square yard, down to a beefy 7.4  ounces/square yard canvas.

I was very happy with most of the color uptake, except for the sheeting. It really was markedly lighter than the other fabrics, and at 4.2 oz/square yard, I expected the color to be as intense as found on the poplin and my control, which are both 4 oz/square yard. The voile was a bit lighter in color, but because it is so light and airy, I expected that, there’s a lot of space between the individual threads in voile. I’m very happy with the quality of the visual texture that I’m getting – even the heavy canvas, which is on the far left in these photos.

I’m frankly puzzled at how the sheeting is markedly lighter. All these fabrics have a bit of a “starchy” feeling to them, and the sheeting was the “starchiest”, so I’m thinking that if the fabrics were pre-washed that less vivid coloring in the sheeting may not occur. (However, I don’t need to add another step to my process, and I don’t want to pre-wash on a regular basis).

For my uses, the canvas and poplin are perfect, and I’m letting the thought of using the lightweight voile begin to percolate in my unconscious mind! I’m so thankful to the ladies at Sew Mama Sew for sending this my way!

One more photo, because there’s nothing prettier than nicely arranged folded fabric!

5 Responses

  1. that’s great, candy! i love seeing the way that the different fabrics take the dye, so interesting. someday i’ll have to try this myself, i’ll look out for your tutorial!

  2. Hello Candy,

    I just found your website! Love your work! So inspired! I have been in fashion since 2005 (with some babies in between, I have 4 kiddos ;). I handmade children’s apparel and sold exclusively online through my line was doing well, but I slowed down to be a mama …. now I’m back!

    I am writing you because I have recently began MY ADDICTION to women’s clothing, which has always been my passion to create. I am totally fascinated with the dying my own fabrics. I live in Redlands, I noticed you do to, and I was wondering if you do any classes closer to home?

    Happy creating =)