Old Liquid Dyes

Since I’ve been dyeing quite a bit I’ve had several readers contact me about how long they can keep dye water. I just happen to have several bottles that have been sitting in my studio in the garage for almost a year. You might notice that the bottle on the right says yellow, but it’s blue!!

First of all, these liquid dyes are fiber reactive dyes mixed with water only. (Note: If you mix the dye with water and soda ash, the dye will only last a couple of hours.)  So these were mixed around a year ago. I mixed 5 grams of dye to 1 cup of water. I was curious if they were still good after sitting in the cold garage. So I soaked the fabric in soda ash as usual, and placed them in the containers. I let them batch overnight.


Here are the results. I found the red and yellow didn’t do well. The piece on the right is the fabric on the right in the above photo.

The turquoise and brick pretty much held their colors.

And lastly the Cerulean blue. It is not as dark, but still looks good.

I don’t recommend keeping old liquid dyes for projects that you are looking for specific colors. However, if you just want to add a little color to your fabric, they should be fine. If you are not familiar with dyeing and wonder why you mix up dye water, it’s great to use if you are tie dyeing or wanting to put color on specific areas of the fabric. I also do this when I’m dyeing rope for bowls. See tutorial here. Also, if you want to make gradations, they work great.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. My mom has been gone for a long time – since I was 21 – but I still have lots of memories of her. I have lots of pictures of her when she was growing up; very few when we were a family. She liked to take the pictures later in life. It’s funny that I have several old photo albums. Unfortunately, very few have the names of the people in them. However, on this picture she wrote “me”. This was taken in 1933 when she was 18. She always had a great smile.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you. Thanks for dropping by.