Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dyed, Washed and Ready to Go!

Well, one thing on my long list of to-do's before the baby arrives is finally complete- the prefolds and Kissaluvs Size 0 fitteds are dyed, washed and ready for action! So, I thought I would give you all a little run-down on how the process went! Enjoy!

So, here is what they started out looking like- just your basic, unbleached Indian prefolds (from Mt. Diaper Store) and Kissaluvs Size 0s (from Kelly's Closet). I ordered 12 Kissaluvs, 12 Newborn Indian Prefolds, and 12 Infant Indian Prefolds to help round out my stash and fill in the gaps (don't worry- I'll be posting about the whole stash very soon ;-)!).
I decided to divide the dipes among 5 different colors (green, blue, purple, red, & orange)- 2 Kissaluvs, 2 Newborn pfs & 2 Infant pfs for each color, with a set left natural just cause sometimes an authentic cloth bum is nice too!

I dyed the dipes in two separate batches- blue, purple and green, then red and orange. I did this for a few different reasons. First, I only have so many large pots and sides to my sink. Second, I figured if the colors somehow got cross-contaminated at all, at least they were broken up into similar color families so the damage wouldn't be that bad. Luckly, there wasn't much cross-coloring (I'll explain in a moment!).

I used Dylon brand dyes, since they were what I was familiar with from previous dying experiences, and find the colors to be potent and vibrant, plus they are cheap and easy to find! The process is simple and involves first filling a large pot or stainless steel sink with enough hot water for you dipes to float freely. You then add salt to the water and pour in the dye (mixed with some water already). Here is the disolved dye going in the sink for the purple dipes:

From there you add your fabric. As you can see, the dye immediately adheres to the fabric, even adfter just a few seconds, so it is important to wear gloves and old clothes (especially if you are pregnant since I have found that a disporportionatly large belly tends to catch splaters more easily than normal!).

The instructions say to stir continuously for the first 15 minutes, then again for a minute or so every 15 minutes after that. I found this to be more essential when dying in a pot rather than the sink, as the fabric had less room to move in the pot and my green pfs did come out a bit blotchy in spots. Nothing horrible though, and on the bum I don't think you will ever notice.

So then you wait, and stir, and wait some more!

After you have let the dipes soak for the full hour the actual labor intensive part of the dying begins- the rinsing!! Ugh! This part seems to take forever! Just keep rinsing and wringing with cool-cold water until the water runs mostly clear. Once I felt like I had done a sufficient job rinsing them by hand I placed each color in a separate plastic bag to transpot them to the laundry room (a vital step that my pregnancy-brain caused me to leave out with the orange and red dipes, which lead to an unfortuante mis-hap that turned a few of the diapers I intended to keep natural... well... a little peach! Oh well!).

After 3-5 hot washes (and then also fully drying) of each color separately, the colors were finally fast and no longer bleeding in the wash! Yeah! One more wash with all the dipes together and the process was complete! Check out my handy work and the glorious colors that will be adorning my babe's bum in a couple of short months:

5 comments:

Heather B said...

How cute!!! I love this idea! I'm all about diapers with PUL though, I've never been confident with covers. I'm sure I just haven't found the right ones. :-)

LannaM said...

Oooh, pretty.

Angel said...

Wow! They look great!!! Makes me want to bring some life back into my prefolds which I buried in the closet some time ago. Where could one find the dyes, a craft store?

Melissa Cummings said...

hey, can you tell us how you get the dye to stay in once they are washed again and again and again and.... :) I have only had dyed covers (plain white prefolds), but they are basically white now -- I use OxyClean to soak stains out, but the dye soaks out after a few months too. Any experiential tips???

Montana Mama said...

I hope you don't mind that I read your blog... I followed your link from The Cloth Diaper Whisperers Comments. :) These are absolutely fabulous! I'm going to have to remember about dying them next time I have a baby. :)