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How to: Dye large quantities of Fabric

Hello all! Sorry about the small hiatus. It seems that everyone was born in November for some reason so I’ve been doing a lot of celebrating 🙂

Anyways, this won’t be a huge post. I just wanted to shed a little light about how I do large quantities of fabric dying.

At the manufacturers, when they dye fabric, they do it in large rotating silo’s with chemical dyes. Now, they have to number each batch because continuity is an issue, and they compare each swatch to each batch that comes out. It’s an arduous process. You can check out more about the dyeing fabric here.I’d add an image to show you but I don’t like taking without permissions haha.

Anyways, So I purchased 8 yards of this brown houndstooth fabric for the sherlock coat.

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Now, usually, you can only get around 8-10 yards in a continuous bolt, so dyeing large quantities you are limited to that. Unless you dye them all together. I personally prefer the washing machine method for this. It’s big enough to hold most fabric quantities that anyone would need. (most) and most nowadays have a temperature setting so you can make the dye bath super hot.

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A general rule of thumb is hot makes something absorb or wash away, cold makes it set. Hot water to dye, cold water to set. Try to keep this in mind.

The way I do this is I set my fabric in the washer, and I like to spread it out so that there are no folded spots and that the dye will get into all the nooks and crannies.

Then I start the washer, and make sure that the setting I set it at is at its hottest. Then I wait for the washer to fill up with water and make sure all of the fabric is saturated before adding the RIT dye.

RIT has also come out with a synthetic dye as well that may help everyone dyeing synthetics. If you don’t know if your fabric is synthetic, I recommend doing a burn test. This chart is very helpful.


Let the washing machine run it’s course. You may have to use more than one bottle depending on your desired saturation level, in this case, I used 4 bottles.

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The fabric came out just a tad darker. Not as much as I would have hoped. I think there may be more polyester in the content than what the website gives. Which doesn’t matter to me much. I think I will probably try to get some of RIT’s synthetic dye and see what that will do. As of now that I am 75% happy with the shell fabric.

Hope everyone has a great day!

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