DIY Project: Hand dyed bedsheets, take 1

So I had this notion of dyeing sheets with a low immersion method, and also tie-dyeing sheets, and overdyeing…

Anyway, first up, I guess these (above) can’t count as overdyed since the background was white, but then again there was a simple black print. I saw them at Winners/Homesense this morning and thought they would be fun with strawberry tones on them, so I brought them home, wet them down with hot water, scrunched them up in a basin and started throwing Rit dye (cherry red, which is more like a deep pink; coral; petal pink) and kosher salt on them, plus a little bit more hot water to make sure the undersides also got dosed with dye.

BTW, you’re supposed to wash fabric before dyeing to get out any sizing or whatever is on it that might affect absorption. I never bother because I’m impulsive and impatient and want to dye all the things right now, lol.

Anyway, I let things sit for about half an hour. I think at one point I was concerned about a hard edge on the darkest dye on the top, so I wet a paper towel and smeared to blend.

A couple times I added more salt on top as well.

Unlike regular dyeing techniques, you don’t agitate the fabric or swish things around. Just let it sit.

Finally it was time to rinse them out, first using hot water and then gradually cooler water until I was using cold. I also squeezed to try to get more excess dye and water out.

I probably didn’t go all the way until the water ran clear (like you’re supposed to) because I knew I was going to throw them in the washing machine, but the water certainly got down to a very pale pink.

Here are the two pillowcases after I rinsed them out in the sink but before they came out of the washer and dryer:

They got slightly lighter but not by much.

I couldn’t be bothered to wrestle the sheets onto the drying rack for photos before washing them, lol.

As for the washing machine, I just used the heavy duty cycle and a capful of my usual Method laundry detergent, same as any other bedding. I didn’t bother with Synthrapol and I also didn’t bother with colour catchers, just washed them on their own.

So here’s the finished fitted sheet on the bed (the rest turned out very similar with one pillow case being a bit darker/stronger, but then there are very strong parts of the sheets, especially areas of the coral dye:

And some details:

I like the amount of variation and how strong the mottling is in spots (combo of how the fabric was scrunched up as well as the effect of the salt). And I like the strawberry color, very appropriate for this time of year!

I have a couple other sets I’m dyeing this week, but I think I’ll wait to post as I get around to putting each set on the bed just to spread things out a bit.