I started with 15 yards of Rayon Spandex Jersey Knit Solid White PFP . It is a 58" wide lightweight Rayon/Spandex blend, with four way stretch. I actually used the "wrong" side of the fabric facing out, as I liked how the dye looked on that side better.
I used one yard for test dying. I cut the remaining part into two 7 yard lengths. I don't remember how I came up with that number. . . but 7 yards ended up being EXACTLY enough for my outer layer. I used 4 1/2 yards for the lining (I self-lined the dress front and back). The rectangular back drape had to be cut across the grain, and was 20" wide. (There were exactly 20" left of my outer layer fabric!!! Nothing like cutting it close!!!!) I used the full length of the fabric, 58", for the length of the rectangular drape. So, if you wanted to cut your back drape with the grain, you'd need to add the length you wanted it to be to the yards of fabric you ordered.
I used Dharma's Fiber Reactive Dye Yields Estimator to determine what I needed for each 7 yard length of fabric, based on weight, which was 4 pounds. I dyed each section separately. I used:
- 36.28 g Shiitake Mushroom dye
- 36.28 g Brazilnut dye (the calculator called for double that, but as I was combining I used this amount)
- 12 gallons water
- 12 cups salt (the dyer's salt from Dharma is totally worth it. It is non-iodized, and really fine, so it dissolved much more easily than kosher salt would have!)
- 8 teaspoons Calsolene oil
- 1 1/3 cup soda ash
Use the calculator to figure out the amount of dye for your fabric's weight. If you do an amount other than the 4 pounds I used, and your fabric is an even weight in pounds, you can use the amounts below to figure out your water, salt, soda ash, and calsolene oil.
Here's what I ordered from https://www.dharmatrading.com/ . I followed their information on Basic Tub Dye Instructions with Fiber Reactive Dye .This was my first time dying anything, and those directions were critical!
Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes 1 Lb.
Size/Style/Color: 178 Shiitake Mushroom
Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes 8 Ozs.
Size/Style/Color: 116 BRAZILNUT *
Soda Ash Fixer 5lb.
Synthrapol Low Foam - Pint (16oz)
Calsolene Oil 8oz
- I used this small scale to weigh the dye
- I used my kitchen scale to weigh the fabric. I put a large clean bowl on the scale, zeroed it, and weighed my fabric.
- Unless you want to dye your skin, you'll likely appreciate disposable vinyl gloves!
- The taupe shade of these ankle boots was a SUPER close match to my final dye color! The sizes on amazon are currently pretty limited, but you might be able to search for "City Classified Women's Closed Round Toe Chunky Stacked Block Heel Ankle Bootie." These look like the same pair, but the color seems to be called "Deep Taupe."
- I used a GIANT wooden spoon, similar to this, to stir the fabric in the bathtub of dye!