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Not sure if this is the right place for this or not, but here goes.

I was given several boxes of flat, white sheets and pillow cases today. I wanted to use some of them for making rag rugs, but unless I want to make an all-white rug, there are way more than I could ever use.

I wonder if I could dye them using RIT dye or something like that? I have never dyed anything before, not even tie-dye. If I do dye them, I am guessing that the best way to do it would be to cut/rip them into strips first?

Oh, I just checked the tags- they are 50% cotton, 50% polyester if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance for any advice, ideas, suggestions.

Elizabeth
 

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I dye my son't tights for ballet with rit dye and they are a combination os polyester and spandex/lycra with something else and they take dye very well so Im sure the sheets will take it best to read and follow directions on the box. You could do it etiether way Im sure however the dye might take stronger on the edges where the fabric is frayeed from tearing but as a rag rug who cares?
 

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I use rit on sheets for rugs--but I wish there was something better. I don't mind the uneven dyeing I get--makes for some interesting effects in the rugs. I also overdye light colored sheets with a pattern and that turns out neat, too.

But once in a while I will have a batch of dye that just will. not. set. Pink was the latest culprit. I have no idea if it's the color, or the age of the dyes (purchased at an estate sale) or just rit in general. I understand that there is another product out there to either set the dye or help wash out all the excess dye (kind of like synthrapol for wool), but I have yet to try it.

I dye the whole sheet in the washer--follow instructions on the rit package. I have heard of other rag rug artists (doesn't that have a nice ring to it?) who mix the dye up in squirt bottles, lay the sheets out flat on the lawn and squirt away. That would not work right now here in Michigan--too much snow!

Rit is designed to dye poly/cotton.

Good luck!
 

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On used sheets, you will get various results depending on the level of body oils and other oils in the fabric. Some folks may have used scented fabric softeners or other things that will leave a residue on the fabric that will make it not take dye so well. I would recommend that, if an even dye is really important to you, you first wash the sheets several times in hot water, using detergent such as wisk or even dawn dish soap that weill remove a lot of the oils in the fabric. Youshould get better results.
Shellbug
 

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I use rit on sheets for rugs--but I wish there was something better. I don't mind the uneven dyeing I get--makes for some interesting effects in the rugs. I also overdye light colored sheets with a pattern and that turns out neat, too.

But once in a while I will have a batch of dye that just will. not. set. Pink was the latest culprit. I have no idea if it's the color, or the age of the dyes (purchased at an estate sale) or just rit in general. I understand that there is another product out there to either set the dye or help wash out all the excess dye (kind of like synthrapol for wool), but I have yet to try it.

I dye the whole sheet in the washer--follow instructions on the rit package. I have heard of other rag rug artists (doesn't that have a nice ring to it?) who mix the dye up in squirt bottles, lay the sheets out flat on the lawn and squirt away. That would not work right now here in Michigan--too much snow!

Rit is designed to dye poly/cotton.


Good luck!
Add more vinegar to the dye bath and simmer longer - overnight - to get those pinks and reds to sit. Rit dyes are Union dyes and the reds are always harder to set, and this includes the purples.

You guys are lucky btw the only Rit dyes I'm able to find locally are blue, black, and red. I"m not even able to find the color stripper here anymore.

Kimberly
 

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LOL--I "found" these dyes at an estate sale this past summer. They might be 20 years old.

Thanks for the tip, though, kimberly. Think it would be okay to simmer them very post-dyeing? They're not in rug form yet, but they have been cut into strips and sewn together. How much vinegar? I've got a big old black canning pot I can boil them in...
 
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