When dye dies.

No, it's not a neon colored beer, though that would be wicked. 

THIS is the wash water from that fabric I purchased at JoAnns last week! I washed all 5 yards in the sink in cold water with a 'free' of everything detergent that I always use and this is what happened. The worst thing? The dye would not stop running! I rinsed it three times in cold water and each bucket full was just as pink as the one before it!

Can you imagine if I had washed this in a machine!? If ever there is a reason for sink washing I think I just proved it. It even dyed my fingernails!! 

This fabric is completely unusable! Oh, I am SO taking this crap back. This is totally ridiculous.

The reason I decided to wash that fabric now was because I made a pilgrimage to the coveted downtown fabric district. I'm sad to say, it looks like my favorite shop down there closed! I'm quite disappointed about it because Mike's Fabrics had great selection, clean, and a lovely lady working there. 

Case in point, I picked up 3 yrds of this cotton/polly at a store next to at $1 a yard.

"$3.50," the guy said. Now, CA tax is 10%, so why was I paying an extra 20¢? I didn't ask, and I think he didn't think I noticed. Hey, if this douche needs an extra 20¢ to make him feel better, then so be it. It's not like I will EVER be going back there (it's the store, if you are facing Mike's Fabric's that is directly to the left).

The sad thing is most of the fabric district is like that. Scummy sellers who quote a price off the top of their heads because they think they have sized you up, and a lot of the buyers know this. So take a pretty friend, because often they will go cheaper for a nice blonde girl (I've seen it happen, often).

Anyway, back to fabric.
I got these two all cotton 'dotted swiss' pieces for $1 a yard. 

They had other colors, but they were too close to neon.

My main reason for the trip to the fabric district was to look for fabric for a dress for a trade I'm doing. I've gone twice and haven't found anything that I liked, and today was the same. I looked around some of the larger stores and was underwhelmed. I just didn't see what I wanted and I didn't want to compromise, so I'll go back later to see if there has been a better rotation.

I did get some more dye for my sweaters. Yeah, I said sweaters. I got a couple more from Land's End. $20 for an all cotton sweater? How can you beat that? I'll tell you how, you can't!

My sweater from earlier dried and lets just say that boiling it on the stove didn't produce enough 'agitation'. That's the fancy dye term. Swooshing. 

The fabric didn't have enough room to swoosh around in the dye, so I got mad streakage. I was on a mission to re-dye it.

I bought the RIT dye at another store. It was nearly $2 cheaper. The Jacquard idye (i know, right!?) I had never tried, but I looked it up online and it got good reviews. Plus it was nearly half the price of RIT, though you do get *more* RIT, but what's left over tends to be only half of what you need, so they equal out in price.

I decided at the last minute to go with the pink color. Not sure why. I used about 2/3 of the bottle and dyed the sweater the way I did the others, in my trusty large plastic Umbra trash can. This dye was 'pale' which I think just means the actual pigment has more filler so that the color isn't as intense. I'm no dye expert, but whenever you wanna weaken something, you always add filler.

I did my normal bucket full of hot water, one cup of salt, and a pot full of boiling water. I soaked the sweater in hot water prior, and let the salty soup do its thing. Half an hour later, I poured it all out. 

The sweater came out right orange. Pumpkin for the more zesty among us. I guess that's alright. I'm more pleased that the color is uniform now. *Whew* 

While I was here, I decided to go on an dye the other sweater I have (the others are on their way) using the idye.

The Jacquard idye comes in a dissolvable packet. The powder is fine, and so its easier to just use it all, which I did. the 2-3 pounds of fabric they say one packet will dye is pretty sound. I *might* have been able to get a second sweater in there, but that would be pushing it.

I decided to dissolve the dye on the stove with my pot of boiling water. The idye instructions hint heavily that the dye works best at simmering heat. Well, you can't simmer in the sink, so really hot is what I have to work with.

That was just fine. The sweater dyed very well. The color on the package was ecru. I love that. The color of age. So posh sounding. It was ecru about 5 minutes in, but I left the sweater to dye about 25 minutes because I got caught up in a very intense game of Bejeweled (new high score whooo!) so it came out more of a deep tan. Okay, I can deal with a deep tan. I think this dye had filler like the rose pink RIT dye because the dye water was see through. I will say one thing about this idye, it rinses much faster/better than RIT.

Oops! I didn't take pictures of the ecru sweater. 
Aw well, I'll have some tomorrow.

That's about it. I get two more sweaters today and I'm super excited about it. 
I might dye them that night. Only time will tell.

I leave you on a highbrow note and to my favorite piece of classical music.
Have a great day!


  1. I'm in i-dye convert. I LOVE that stuff.

  2. I work at Joann's and, just saying, good luck returning the fabric. It usually can't have been washed or cut, and they probably won't see this problem as it being "damaged", so go straight to a manager to complain.

  3. If that doesn't work and you are stuck with the fabric maybe a vinegar set would work? Years before anyone had internet I read that red items that kept running could be set with vinegar. It might be worth a try if you are stuck with the fabric.

  4. Ohh someone else who shares my pain at Mike's closing!! I got all my fabric at Mike's - Erica was the best and so sweet. The last time I went to DTLA for fabric I was so depressed about Mike's that I didn't buy anything. According to a Yelp reviewer Erica decided to close because her husband's health was declining. I agree 100% about all of your comments about the fabric district, sometimes I get cross eyed with all the terrible polyester and obnoxious sales people. I've been thinking about starting to shop at Michael Levine's because at least it is organized and the prices are posted. Anyhow rant over, I just wanted to comment about Mike's and let you know I love your blog!

  5. Reilly, the fabric is unusable. It has streaks now and its a gray pink, not gray like I posted on Monday. The flowers are faded and blurry, and how would I know that this fabric would not hold up to a sink washing. I spent over $5 a yard on this cotton, and its 5 yards, so its a decent chunk of change. I better get some resolution.

    Liberty, I'm so sad over Mike's closing! Aw! I hope Erica can take care of her husband. I will miss her.

    There is a nice place right at the corner before you cross the street to get to Michael Levine. Its not that 99¢ place, and its two store in from that crappy cel phone accessories seller on the corner. The place has TONS of fabric inside, but the sellers there shop prices off the top of their head, and I've gone back a couple of times for the same thing and its been quoted differently. If it were not for that, I'd go there more often.

  6. Neon beer would be awesome!
    Glad your dyeing turned out well--it's fun to see what color things turn ;)

  7. My first thought from this post is - wash the Lands End sweater with the JoAnn's fabric! you'd better believe it'll be pink by the end! :P


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