Dyeing for a Cause

I love using cloth napkins. I also have spent years collecting them. Some are vintage, others are not, but they all start out as white.

I recently started volunteering for Urban Seeds. They provide several great services including “Book and Cook” for kids, and the Nourish program. You can see what they do here. They recently put out a call for cloth napkins for their Farm to Table fundraising dinner this week. I didn’t see this message until the middle of last week, so wasn’t sure how many they still needed. When I contacted the agency director, she said 45. So I set out to dye 45 for her and a few for us.

For these napkins I need to vat dye them. I’ve never had any luck low immersion dyeing this napkins because I want a solid color. Instead of using a real vat, I am using my Wonder Washer. Here is an old post and a video on how to use this neat portable washer for dyeing. I bought mine through Amazon in 2015.

I found that if I put it on the floor I didn’t have to babysit it. The timer only goes up to 15 minutes so I can go back in the house and do what I wanted, and then come back and reset. Here are the different colors I dyed these napkins. I am using fiber reactive dyes that only dye natural fibers. If you see some of the patterns that aren’t white, that’s because they are some type of polyester. The vintage ones that show the design dyed but a bit darker, is because the threads of the designs are linen or silk, which although natural dye differently than the cotton. So when I am dyeing some of these napkins I have no idea how they are going to turn out.

And here they are all together.

Then I dyed some blue ones for us. If you look at the front two blue napkins you can see the design but it blends with the background showing that it is also cotton.

I was happy to be able to dye those napkins for that important event.

Another thing I did this past week is get my hair cut! Since it was at least 12 inches, I was able to donate my hair to an organization that makes wigs for children. Here is my donation.

My before picture:

And after.

The jury is still out on whether I like it. I have a feeling I’ll be making a trip back to her to cut it a bit shorter!!

Until next time, have a great week.