Dye your own fabrics for bramaking! » BERNINA Blog

Hello all! It’s been a long time since you heard about me. I wasn’t unemployed, and I spent some time dying my baking supplies.

This is a pre-dyed set from Brabuilders.

We all know the feeling of finding the perfect lace, but none of our results are the right shade, they don’t match each other etc. One solution is to buy the result sets in your favorite color, so at least the different results match each other. If you would like to format your baking supplies to a T, you can either contact your baking supplies vendor with a picture (or better yet a sample) and ask them to help. I know BWear in Sweden is very helpful in helping to select matching colors and Brabuilders in the US even dye results to match your product, if you contact them. Also try to dye your results.

Just heads up fast! This is how I like to dye my results as of December 2021. I used Dharma Acid Dyes that I bought from webante.de.

When do you get dyed?

Personally, I like to dye the fabric before sewing it. I pre-wash the fabric I intend to dye to remove all finishes, invisible grease stains, etc. Theoretically, you can dye the bra after you’ve stitched it but keep in mind that polyester thread won’t catch the dye, so either you’ll be using your target color thread from the start or you’ll have to live with visible stitching. But either way, if you misplace the dye job on an already finished product, you will definitely pay yourself not to do it another way.

What do you dye

The dyes I use work well for wool, silk, protein fibers, and nylon. So, for baking supplies, I make sure my goods are high in nylon or they won’t dye well. Polyester will not dye well and you will need specialized dyes (I’ve bought Jacquard iPoly dyes in the past for polyester and they worked well; but smells, yuk). Most fabric and hardware stores will provide you with details of their fabric content. If in doubt, take the test!

I have dyed the microduoplex, a clear cup liner, the power grid and some rubber strap. They are all made of nylon. The tape does not contain a high percentage of nylon.

how to dye

safety first

I’ve seen people dye without any possible safety measures. But personally, I like to use an apron, heat-resistant gloves, and a mask. Some people also wear Googles safety glasses.

what do you need

I went to Goodwill and bought a large enough frying pan. The fabric (or yarn) should be able to move freely in the bowl. If you muster them, you will get an unequal result. Also, out of goodwill, I picked up some long tongs to help me move the product around the pan, some small containers (like a beaker), small bowls and even a submersible thermometer. You can buy everything new, of course, but since you can’t use the same items for dyeing you use for cooking, good will seems like the perfect option.

step by step (for dharma acid dyes)

  1. Wash the fabric in a fabric detergent solution to remove all fixing agents and grease. I let the fabric sit in this “laundry bath” until my dye was ready.

Dissolve approximately 1.5% to 2% of the dyed (dry) colored goods in hot water. I’ve found that the hot water really helps dissolve the dye powder. Take your time to melt your color.

Heat some water in the pan. I like to bring the water to about 85 degrees Celsius.

Add your color. I like to take my time and stir for a minute to make sure I have an even mixture of dye.

Now I add all goods to my ability. And stir until I get the desired color result.

Add vinegar (about 1 TS) or citric acid. Do not pour vinegar on the cloth.

You want to deplete your pigment as much as possible. This means that the fabric will absorb all of the dye in the water. You can add more vinegar to the mixture to completely loosen the dye.

If you are satisfied with the result, get out your goods and wash them in some warm water and some fabric detergent. Some people let their product cool in the pan. I haven’t tried this before.

Common mistakes

using a small pot

The fabric must be able to move freely or else you will get an uneven result.

The dye has not been dissolved properly before

This will cause freckles to appear.

You can see that the fabric swatches are patterned with blue spots. Those spots were barely visible in the pot.

The dye has not been dissolved properly yet.

not stir.

This will result in an uneven color. When the water is warmer (toward the bottom of the pan), the dye reacts faster. So, stirring is the key.

You can see that the result here is streaky. I have not raised.

The water is not at the right temperature

The dye reacts faster when the water is at an ideal temperature (about 85°C). Too cold and the dye won’t stick properly, or too hot and the dye might crack or the fabric might not like it either.

Pour vinegar over dyed goods.

This will give you a spotted result. The vinegar will set the dye.

Adding dye when the fabric is already there

Just don’t. Your result will be unequal. If you need to add more dye, take out all the merchandise, add our dye, stir it up, then add your merchandise again.

Do not take into account the material or dye

Not all of your materials will take dye the same way. So you want to pre-test which substrates absorb the dye faster than others. I’ve found that the powernet and nylon coated grommets and slides take longer to dye than the clear cup liners, and it’s pretty fast. If you take out everything at the same time, all of your goods may not have the same color intensity.

I learned all these things the hard way. In December though, I tested every color I had on the most common fabrics I use under the same conditions to be able to determine dosage, duration, and saturation for my future dyeing adventures.

The colors you tried are in the red/orange spectrum.

If you want to know more about all the colors I’ve tried, you can check out my post on my blog at heartpleat.ch

Happy sewing (and dyeing)


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