For my third wrap dye adventure, I bought a brand new, but bargainously cheap Amazonas Natura from Ebay. This is really lovely, comfy, wide, 100% cotton wrap.
I got my inspiration from Natural Mama alfytheige here: http://www.naturalmamas.co.uk/forum/…ad.php?t=71670, bought a whole load of dye and salt, and got dipping….
Beautiful, happy rainbow after (this is also the wrap in my blog banner pic above):
First I washed the wrap to clean any unseen marks or coatings + let it dry. I then measured its width, which was 72cm.
I want to dye this a bright, 6-colour rainbow using green, yellow, orange, red, purple and blue (green at the bottom for the grass, the sunrise of yellows, reds and purples into the sky of blue at the top …. that’s the idea, anyway :D). I’m not going to graduate between the colours, but there’s going to be sections of overlap between adjacent colours. I’d like to leave approximately even stripes of each colour alone. So I got out a pencil and worked out how wide each stripe and overlap would be.
Here’s my sketch of the various coloured stripes and their widths (click pic for close up):
My Sums (apologies if not clear)
So there’s 6 colours + plus the 5 overlap areas between each pair = essentially 11 colour stripes. 72 cm (width of wrap) / 11 = about 6.5 cm per stripe. But I’d like the plain (non-overlapping) stripes to be bigger than the overlapping ones, and for the edge stripes to be a little wider again, so I tweaked this a bit. Soooo….. in the pic above you can see the widths of the 11 stripes in cm (on the left), the 4 dotted lines where I need to fold the wrap lengthways for dyeing (measurements in cm on the right), and where each colour dye is going to go (middle). You might notice that I slightly adjusted the sizes so my widths don’t quite add up – I did it to make the numbers a bit easier and it doesn’t really matter because (i) it’s all a bit approximate and my folding isn’t going to be completely precise anyway; and (ii) when you dip the fabric in the dye, the dye will wick up the wrap by between 1-2 cm anyway so again it’s never going to make perfectly straight, even stripes (which I wouldn’t want anyway).
The Actual Dying
Dying this involved folding the wrap lengthways, measuring the folded part so that the fold lay in the middle of where the stripe of colour was to be (I obviously didn’t need to fold for the edges, but otherwise method was the same). The widths for the folds I i had already marked out on my sketch above. As I folded the wrap, I pinned the fold in place all along the length. I then folded the wrap widthways concertina-style, pinning as I went, so that it was about 40cm wide (to fit in the dye bucket).
The folded and pinned wrap was soaked thoroughly in warm water and clipped to a clothes hanger. Again refering to the sketch, I used a washable fabric pencil to mark where the dye should come up to. I then suspended the hanger from a laundry rack so that the folded edge of the fabric sat into the dye, but not quite as deep as the pencil marks were (to allow for the dye to wick upwards a bit). As mentioned above, this really isn’t supposed to be perfectly precise, but having the calculations done helps you to guess how imprecise you’re being, if that makes sense? If this all worries you, just go with the flow and don’t worry about measurements too much – you’ll end up with a beautiful rainbow anyway!
I initally used one pack of Dylon hand dye + salt and the recommended water and time for each stripe. I then rinsed and machine washed the wrap with synthrapol and colour catchers before doing the next colour. The first 3 colours came out too pale, and the yellow hardly showed up at all in daylight:
I think in the end it took about 10 packs of dye, about a ton of salt and a pack of colour catchers + almost 3 weeks of ds + dh tripping over the dye bucket. But it was all worth it when my rainbow wrap ended up like this:
So it didn’t quite work perfectly + is a bit slapdash, but as long as you don’t look at it flat & only when worn, I really really like it + it makes me smile
I then found that beautiful as this is, I never wore it as it’s too long for me. So I chopped it (becoming a bit of a habit lol) and it’s now a practical and lovely size 4-ish at 390cm. Even better, the rainbow looks much nicer when worn in a ruck carry anyway 😀
DH walking off into the (typically upside down) rainbow sunset.