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Checklist for Tinting and Dyeing Trims

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  • Only natural fibers such as rayon, linen, cotton, etc. can be successfully tinted or dyed. Polyester does not take dye well at all.
  • Use a large pot or plastic container for your dye bath and latex gloves to protect your hands from the dye. Protect surrounding spaces with newspaper. To dye 24 yards of narrow trim, you’ll need to mix about 1-2 quarts of dye.
  • Powdered dyes such as Dylon work well, or you can use liquid dyes from Dritz. I prefer powdered dye since the color is more concentrated. Both are available in craft supply stores.
  • If you use powdered dye, be sure it is completely dissolved. You can use a small amount of hot water (1/4 cup) to dissolve the powdered dye, but use only lukewarm water for the complete dye bath, as cooler water will reduce shrinkage and possible damage to the trim.
  • I usually begin with about ½ a package of powered dye or ½ a bottle of liquid dye to 1 quarts of slightly warm water (not hot). You will need to adjust these amounts if you are mixing colors.
  • Experiment to obtain the precise color you need. You can always add dye to deepen the color but you cannot easily make your trim lighter.
  • Be aware that your trim will lighten by several shades when it dries.
  • Experiment. Begin with a 10-12 inch length of trim and record the amount of time in the dye bath to ensure that subsequent batches will be the color you want.
  • Rinse well in cool water to remove all traces of dye. This may require 3-4 rinses. Lay your trim out as flat as possible to air dry. Do not put it into a tumble dryer as this will tangle and possibly damage your trim.
  • If pressing is required, use the setting for rayon on your iron.


By Florence Dove Google

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