Patrick, ever the awesome husband gave me a bolt of Kona PFD (prepared for dying) fabric and Kim Eichler-Messmer’s new book on fabric dying for Christmas this year. How cool is that?


I immediately went online to Dharma Trading Company and ordered a truck load of dye pigments and all the other paraphernalia needed to dye fabric. In her book, Kim uses only the pure color pigments and gives recipes to mix them to create the colors she is using in her projects, but I couldn’t resist buying a bunch of premixed color pigments…they were all so pretty and not really that expensive.

Last night I finally got time to play with the new toys and decided to start with some basics. I used Charcoal Gray in three different baths, dying half a yard of fabric in each bath. Kim’s book was a great help since it give step by step dying instructions and tips on how to control the degree of mottling etc.

In my baths I used one quart of water, 1 tsp water softener, 1 Tbsp dyer’s salt, and 1 Tbsp soda ash. I varied my amount of the charcoal pigment so that one bath got 1/2 tsp, one got 1 tsp, and the last got 2 tsp. I stirred quite a bit, but not more than that I had time to reheat some of yesterday’s dinner and eat it while the fabric soaked.

I think it turned out perfect! I love the subtle mottling in the fabric and I love the gradations. I think I may make another round with 6 different gradations of the same gray.


Also, since I am doing Quilt Gallery’s Misha’s Playground Quilt Along this year, I think I may just dye all my fabric for this quilt. It needs about 40 different colors in pretty small quantities so it should be a fun way to play with the hand dyes.

If this makes you want to try to dye fabric, I recommend that you invest in Kim’s book to get you started. She makes the whole process very approachable and fun.

Thank you, Kim, for writing such a helpful book.



Leave a Reply