Dyeing Lesson Learned

Several weeks ago I ice dyed this shirt for me. Dave loved it and wanted one of his own.

So that was easy. I weighed his shirt (since it’s a bit larger and would need more dye than mine), calculated the amount of dye, and I was off to the dye studio.  Several years ago he had purchased several of these t-shirts from LL Bean. In 2015 I dyed one of those shirts in my indigo pot. It turned out beautiful.

So when I went to dye one of the white tshirts, I couldn’t believe the results. Ugh! I ended up over dyeing it since the first time the dye barely attached to the fibers.

My next step was to contact LLBean and the mystery was solved.

They responded back to me almost immediately.

“In looking at your husband’s order history, I’m seeing that in 2014, he had purchased several Carefree Unshrinkable Tee V-neck #290353 (PFH1).  These shirts do have a resin-free wrinkle-resistant and stain resistant treatments on them.  These solutions allow the wrinkles and water/oil stains to roll off and out of the fabric.  Unfortunately, the treatments also prevent the shirt from being dyed like an untreated shirt.”

The dye process with indigo is different and I assume those chemicals were able to break through the stain resistant treatment.

So the lesson I learned is even if it’s 100% cotton, make sure there is no treatment on it. I’ve never had this problem before so it took me by surprise.

Our local library has a silent auction to raise money for the library. They again contacted me to donate a couple items for the auction. So I said goodbye to this rope bowl and one of the purses I had sewn with my ice dyed fabric. They always have such a wonderful selection of art so if you are in the area (Newburgh, Indiana) check out the auction starting later this month.

Have a great weekend.