My dye and other stories …

Have you ever bought a fabric and wondered what on earth possessed you? Me too …

IMG_3002Now I do like this cotton, but when held up to my rather knackered face, it made me look a little dead if I’m honest. Even the jolly pink flowers couldn’t work their magic and warm up my cheeks. In all probability, I grant you, yes I know, it is very possibly more suited to a four year old and not a forty four year old but drawn to it I was and purchase it I did.

No, I haven’t lain a giant pink, strawberry fondant flavoured chocolate cellophane wrapper over it (whoops, may have dribbled a bit then), I donned my rubber gloves and I dyed it!

IMG_3415I love it now! It reminds me of the 70s, maybe some curtains, or a dress my mum had when I was little. It’s so strange how fabrics can (for a moment at least) take you back in time and make your heart beat faster. Yes, I’m very happy and have already made something with it which I shall blog about soon. Dyeing things is a great way of making you stop and take some time out to contemplate … stuff.


I dyed this at the kitchen sink (I used Tulip Red) and stood looking at the birds in the garden while stirring and listening to the afternoon play. The last time I dyed anything, I was twenty one, it was a dress and there was a hole in my rubber glove, I didn’t realise until it was too late. The next day we had a family funeral which was absolutely tragic and bloody awful and I remember looking down at my navy blue thumb in the church and thinking “you plonker”. Actually, it made a few people laugh when they realised no slamming car doors were involved. I still have that dress.

By the way, do it in a bowl because if your sink is anything like mine (basically a worn out Belfast) you need to keep the dye away, which reminds me …

IMG_3406There was the unfortunate incident when I came home from art college for the holidays (1989?), and decided to marble some paper in the bath. The marbling was a huge success and my parents were impressed with my creativity … until they saw their Victorian enamel (in need of repair) bath now baring permanent thread veins where the oil paints had wormed their way into every crevice. Oh how we laugh about that (now they’ve moved) and it’s brought up regularly now that my own children are at art college and blooming messy! So use a bowl, just saying.

Oops, sorry I’ve gone off topic. Basically, I’m trying to use up bits of fabric I already have instead of buying more (unless they are in a charity shop and have my name on them of course). This is a really satisfying way of giving new life to something that isn’t being used because the colour is wrong and if you stand at the sink and do it, you give yourself a bit of time to reminisce which is always nice in my books.

And here’s a sneaky peak of what my ‘new’ fabric has become, bye for now …



1 Comment

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One response to “My dye and other stories …

  1. What a difference! I thought the fabric looked lovely before but it looks so much better after your dyeing job. I’m looking forward to seeing what you made with it. I always got made to do dyeing in the garden in a bucket when I was younger – usually my mum was there with me dyeing fabric too, it was always so much fun!

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