Not so long ago I splurged and got myself a king sized wool filled 4 seasons duvet. My old one was also wool and 4 seasons but I'd previously been sold an extra long single person duvet and it's only because I am so short that it was "long enough", when used on it's side, to cover me. I had used this old duvet for years and just got tired of it being so short. A new duvet meant new duvet covers and while I found one that was okish I couldn't find another that I liked enough to buy.
So... A trip to IKEA got me a plain white duvet cover set, sheet and extra pillow cases as the duvet set only had 2 in it and I need 6. Then a trip to the shops got me 4 packs of Dylon dye - 2 in sunflower yellow and 2 in ocean blue. The plan was to tie dye the lot and have splashes of blue, yellow, green and white. In the past I have always used the dye for the washing machine so doing it by hand was a new adventure. The old tins had always put me off as they were so complicated to use but these "new" packets are a lot more user friendly so I decided to take the plunge.
When I started the actual task of wrapping string around the corner of a pillow case, I soon realised it would take me a gazillion days to do so as my hands didn't like the job and it was also hard on my iffy shoulder. Those of you who don't know me won't know that I am the lucky recipient of palindromic rheumatism, arthritis, a dodgy back and some other joint issues thanks to working too hard so any task that requires repetitive movements is going to hit me hard. I decided that it would be a better idea to dip dye instead - easier on the hands etc. *wink*
After washing out the old baby bath I had lurking in my garage that my oldest had kindly carried up to the bathroom for me, I proceeded to mix up the first lot of dye - the yellow. The dye once mixed with water in the jug was a lovely orange and I was glad I didn't skimp on getting rubber gloves or I'd have had garish yellow/blue hands by the end of this. I then proceeded to ignore the instructions as what I had planned required more water so less dye per litre of water. I knew in advance that this would result in a lighter colour.
|This is why they say to use a bowl or stainless steel sink!|
I draped the duvet and sheet over a plastic step so it would not lie on the floor. Doing it this way is messy - the dye tends to drip a bit if you don't squeeze any excess dye out first. Don't do it this way if you are not in a tiled area that is easy to clean. Once the last bit had been in the bath for around 45 minutes I took it out and did my best to rinse it out as much as possible, doing the pillow cases was easy but the sheet and duvet were a lot more difficult.
I spread the items on the tiled floor so the white undyed parts wouldn't get in contact with the dyed parts. I then poured the leftover dye into a tub and threw an old white sheet in that looked a bit grubby as it had gone slightly greyish and needed a bit more life added to it - I wasn't sure if this was going to have any effect but I knew that the sheet couldn't get any worse than it was already. I left that sheet to soak for a couple of hours.
Then it was time for the blue dye - even though the yellow dye had been orange seeing the purple that was the result of the packets of blue dye made me rather worried, especially when the first bit of white fabric into the bath turned lilac. I took a deep breath and decided to give it some time thinking that if the worst came to the worst nothing would happen that could not get fixed by a trip to the washing machine with a pack or 2 of black washing machine dye. This time round I was trying it the other way - slowly putting more fabric into the bath as time went by.
Like with the yellow dye I did my best to rinse out the blue dye but by this time my back had decided to play up and it was very painful to do so when the worst was off I decided to see if the washing machine could get the rest out. I was thrilled with the results so far despite noticing that I'd not pushed the fabric in far enough to get a green area between the yellow and blue. and really hoped that the bright yellow and bright blue I saw would be what I ended up with. I then chucked 2 faded bottle green sheets into the blue dye to give them a little oomph that they were missing. I do like re-using dye, though really one should not as it's mostly stopped working by then.
I carefully carried it all up to the attic and made sure to put the blue dyed area's at the bottom of the machine with the yellow on top. and washed it according to the instructions. I hung up the pillow cases on hangers and the duvet cover and sheet over the banister.
2 days later it was all finally dry and I could get it onto my bed and take photo's
All in all I'm happy with the results and I know I'll be using Dylon's hand dye dyes again - just on something smaller next time hehe.