After finishing a run of batik projects, I had packed away my salt and Dylon sachets in favour of other makes. But then fresh inspiration popped up on my Pinterest feed in the form of galaxy prints, cute vintage textile revamps and vibrant ombres. I’m back on the Dylon trail and I can’t wait to unleash those gorgeous colours!
Usually I know what I want to make, but this time I’m going to fit my project around the method that looks like the most fun – hand dye or machine dye. So let the alchemy begin.
Addictive Hand Dye
Every time I buy a pack of Dylon Hand Dye, I come away with a handful of colours and a mind full of ideas – they all look so tempting, and the mix and match possibilities are endless. Should I look out a basin for my latest project? I’ve had a lot of fun working on batik projects in the past so you may have guessed that hand dyeing is a favourite of mine:
– Galaxy of inspiration. Mix, match and daub together. For instance, create galaxy prints by tying your fabric into bobbles and sploshing space-worthy colours on before submerging the rest in inky black.
– Just a few. Not got a whole load’s worth of fabric to dye? No problem, you can scale down most dyes.
– Nothing gets jammed. I love applying batik wax and the likes, without worrying about it clogging up a pipe. Any breakaway wax just bobs around in the basin.
– Check as you go. How’s that colour coming along? Take a peek, fish out your fabric or leave it to swim a little while longer – hand dyeing is fairly accommodating.
All good things, all good things. Hold on a minute, though:
– Grab an old towel. And clear the area. You don’t want to accidentally decorate your cream carpet.
– All set? Hand dye can produce bright, long-lasting results – but if you haven’t left it long enough or used enough salt or dye powder, those lush colours won’t set properly. Don’t skimp!
– Just keep stirring. For great coverage, hand dyes need a bit of a stir every so often – this makes a great opportunity for a progress check but you don’t want to wander too far from the tub.
Machine Dye Magic
It looks like hand dyeing will be hard to beat for variety, but machine dye definitely has its own advantages. Dylon Machine Dye is just the thing for a whole host of colourful situations:
– Just add salt. Load your fabrics or plain clothes into the drum, add dye and salt as per the instructions and come back when you hear the beep.
– Want to dye sheets? Make a set of t-shirts? Revamp thick, heavy things like jeans? In it goes, you can dye absolutely tons of things in each wash.
– Keep the colour contained. No need for a splash exclusion zone.
– It’s self-swishing. No need to pop back every so often and poke your
Of course, there’s always a downside:
– (Almost) all or nothing. Once the drum’s revolving, you can take a tea break until you hear the beep. That also means that you can’t jump in and change anything once you’ve started.
– Whoops! You should probably run an empty wash afterwards to rinse away any leftover dye. It shouldn’t really hang around, but sometimes it does – better safe than sorry.