To dye my sinamay I took the instructions from here and from the RIT powder dye package and combined them. The how-to instructions use soda ash/wash and RIT uses detergent and since I don’t have soda ash I just used the detergent I had (arm&hammer).
Now RIT gives you the option of using the washing machine, stove top, or sink/bucket. I used the bucket method so I wouldn’t dye my sink or pots and a washing machine wouldn’t be gentle enough (plus I don’t have one). Also the bucket method is easy.
Dyes 1 pound of dry fabric
What you’ll need:
- 5 gallon plastic bucket
- wooden spoon
- 1 package RIT dye
- 3 gallons hot water
- 2 cups hot water in separate cup
- 1 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon detergent
Preparing the dye:
Dissolve the dye in the 2 cups of hot water. I use the wooden spoon to stir until completely dissolved.
Making the dye bath:
Fill bucket with 3 gallons hot water. Add the dye and 1 cup salt. Stir well until the salt is dissolved.
Rinse off the sinamay then add to the dye bath. Swish for 15 minutes, then remove.
Add the detergent and stir well.
Put the sinamay back in the dye bath. Agitate for 30-60 minutes. (I did about 45 minutes)
Remove sinamay and rinse in warm water, then gradually cooler water until water runs clear.
I did not do this because it will never be washed, but if you were using other fabric you would want to wash in warm water with detergent.
The sinamay on the left is the result from these directions. The one on the right is after the dye bath had the detergent in it – you can see it’s much lighter in color.