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Quick Project: Can't Find Fabric Dye? Use Food Colouring Instead!

Finding fabric dye is like a mission impossible, but you can substitute with food colouring instead for your tie-dye projects.

04/08/2020

 

ideal home magazine

 

In the absence of being able to find fabric dye since Dylon is no longer around, I have substituted on many occasions by using food colouring. It's just as good as using fabric dye and works out cheaper and easier to use. These tie-dye napkins or serviettes are a great small project to try out your tie-dye skills - using food colouring.

In this project we show you how to make your own tie-dye napkins or serviettes using food colouring instead of fabric dye. You can use any colour of food colouring for your napkins, or you can even mix your own colours using the basic food colouring colours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOU WILL NEED:

Plain cotton or linen napkins, or make your own

Food colouring in your choice of colours

Elastic bands

Plastic squeeze bottle

Plastic drop cloths to protect your worktop

White vinegar

Table salt

Disposable or rubber gloves

Iron

 

 

CONTINUES BELOW

 

 

 

HERE'S HOW:

 

1. When doing tie-dye many crafters like to pre-soak the fabric in soda ash to ensure vibrant colours, but you can achieve a similar effect by pre-soaking the fabric in 1 part water to 1 part white vinegar. Place in a plastic bucket or large bowl, add the water and vinegar and leave to soak for about an hour.

 

 

2. Prepare your food colouring solution by adding ½ cup of clean water to the squeeze bottle and about 20 drops of food colouring. Shake before use.

3. Depending on the patterns you want to achieve with your tie-dye technique, there are all types of different methods.

 

Create Swirls

The easiest is to scrunch up the fabric and wrap with elastic bands, as shown above. This method will give you swirl designs on the fabric. With the fabric flat, pinch from the centre and twist before wrapping with elastic bands.

Squeeze the food colouring mixture along where the elastic bands sit on the fabric and leave like this for 24-hours.

To set the colour, put the cloth in a bucket with just enough water to cover. Add ½ cup of water and let soak for 30 minutes before rinsing with clean water, leaving to dry and then ironing flat. The heat from the iron will also help to set the colour permanently in the fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create Our Design

With the fabric flat, pluck up sections and wrap these off with elastic bands. Try to evenly space the dye spots over the piece of fabric to ensure proper coverage.

Use the squeeze bottle to squeeze a small amount of the dye over the areas where the elastic bands sit. Leave for 24-hours.

To set the colour, put the cloth in a bucket with just enough water to cover. Add ½ cup of water and let soak for 30 minutes before rinsing with clean water, leaving to dry and then ironing flat. The heat from the iron will also help to set the colour permanently in the fabric.

 

 

 

 

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