Dyeing cotton vs 50/50

I really like dyeing t-shirts for Dave. He knows to buy 100% cotton ones since fiber reactive dyes are made to work on natural fibers. Well, he’s been taken lately with 50/50 shirts.

When we were in Hawaii this year we bought a couple souvenir shirts, and I have to admit that I really love the feel of those shirts. They are so light, and they always come out of the dryer looking perfect. So he challenged me to dye one of them. I decided that I’d low immersion dye one of each and see what happens. I”m using Royal Blue, that color I had trouble back in the very first session with these old dyes Dawn gave me.

The first dyeing session – yes, it took me more than one dyeing session – resulted in weak colors, but on both shirts. The shirt on the left is the 100% cotton. It has a bit more color and much more texture.

So I decided to over dye with same Royal Blue and see what would happen.

Yikes, they turned light purple. What happened to all of the blue?

So let’s try it one more time. This time I didn’t use the Royal Blue. I used Cerulean Blue and Magenta dye solutions I had mixed up from an earlier dyeing session. I also applied the dye solution in strips, alternating the colors on the shirt.

Here are the results.

The 100% cotton still has more texture and has a bit more color, but really isn’t that much different from the 50/50. I’m still not sure this was a good test because I still think the Royal blue is not working as it should. I ice dyed several of the dyes Dawn gave me including the Royal Blue and it came out again real light.

I expected the color to be muted due to the fact that half of the shirt is poly, but it should have performed much better on the 100%. But in the end, I like both shirts and he does too! My next experiment will be ice dyeing a 50/50 shirt with dye I trust.

And talking about beautiful color, this week my first iris appeared. Her name is Protocol. My iris area is so much smaller than it was several years ago, but now I can give them more attention. Looking forward to the next ones that are about ready to pop open.


The weather is still cool here, although we’ve had some warm days. However, the cool temps have made it great to work out in the garden. So I’ve been spending a lot of time out there.

But another time suck I’ve gotten into the last several weeks is genealogy. I go in spells, diving in every so many years. But now I’m in deep, focusing on my maternal grandfather’s family. My big question is when he ran away from home at 16 in 1909 (I know why he did which has been supported by other oral histories), where did he live? He ran away to Evansville, Indiana from his home in Rockport, which is 32 miles and currently 45 minutes away. I believe he stayed with his widowed aunt because it just makes sense, but have yet to find anyone or any documentation to confirm that. But I’ve just begun. Meanwhile, on this journey I’ve learned some other interesting things about his family.

Here he is plowing up his garden. I knew this sweet, generous man for just a short time. He died in 1963 when I was in the 6th grade. My last memory of him is the day I rode my bicycle over to his house to see how he was feeling since he had been terribly sick. He told me he was feeling better, and was looking forward to putting out his garden. I rode home happy. He died the next day.


John Simon Schatz – Evansville Indiana


Gosh, I sure didn’t mean to end on such a sad note. Looks like I have another good day to get out and weed. Hope you are enjoying your Spring.