More fun with dye

These are the cushion covers from the IKEA LILLBERG sofa. They're cotton canvas and started out in a natural/off-white color.

This is also Jacquard iDye in Chestnut, like I used for the chair covers. I did a quick pre-wash before dyeing and used three packs of dye and three cups of salt for the six cushions (about six pounds of fabric). I did it in a front-loading washer on the hot setting, letting the wash cycle run for 14 minutes, then pausing it for 10 minutes (periodically restarting it for about 30 seconds to agitate it and then pausing it again), then shutting it off and restarting and letting it go all the way through the hot cycle with a 16-minute hot wash, four rinses and one spin (my machine doesn't automatically empty if the cycle is canceled; there's a "drain/spin" cycle and a "rinse/spin" cycle that one can run on a canceled load rather than going through a complete cycle).

After this process, the result was this:

iDye chestnut came out greeny olive with red crumple marks the first time
[click for larger]

Yeah, it's a greeny olivey color, with darker red/brown marks along where it crumpled while agitating. *sigh*

I put it through again, this time deciding to try having it agitate the whole time, and with more water volume and hotter water, thinking this would get more of the dye to take. I did the cushions in two batches, each with one dye pack and one cup of salt.

I set it on the hottest water, let the wash cycle run for 10 minutes, reset it and let the wash cycle run another 10 minutes, reset it and let the whole thing run through with the 16-minute wash cycle followed by rinses and spins. Each time I started the cycle, I dumped two cups of boiling water in through the detergent dispenser to add to the water volume and keep the temperature hot. Here are the covers after the second dye bath with the boiling water and detergent residue added three times during the process:

covers after a second dye process
[click for larger]

They're a uniform color, and a much better color, but still too freakin' green. I'm really not understanding why this chestnut color is coming out so green. I must be doing something with the temperature or the pH or something that's making the reds in the dye not bind to the fabric. I think my next step is to run them through a bath of something reddish to get more of a chocolate brown.


3 comments:

HAC said...

Looks okay to me. This is inspirational since I just got a HAGALUND sofabed for my father's assisted living apartment and it's white--doesn't fit the location, but a good canvas to apply dye to.

HAC said...

But why doesn't it shrink?

eeka said...

Hard to see in the pics, but they're kind of a washed-out color, and really uneven. Also they're an olive green when I was going for a chocolate brown. I'm going to put them in another bath of the same dye to get it more even, then put it in a bath of probably a crimsonish color to get it less green.

Not exactly why they don't shrink -- they are 100% cotton, but the instructions for the sofa covers and the chair slipcovers say to wash in hot (140° F) water. So I'm guessing they're preshrunk or have some sort of treatment on them. It's also an optimal temperature for hot-water dyes like this, so it works out well.

I'm really loving that the IKEA covers cost half as much in white/natural as they do in colors. I tend to be a fan of their designs, but not so much of their fabrics, so it all works out well to toss them in a vat of dye.