Fabric Dyeing Classroom

Welcome to the Fabric Dyeing section of the Archives. Here we’ve gathered together all the content here on DesignMatters TV that focusses on methods of fabric dyeing. You’ll find video workshops and inspirational blog posts with lots of ideas and information to help you get started.

About Fabric Dyeing

With fabric shops packed with fabrics in myriad colours and patterns, why would you want to dye your own? Well just like a painter mixes her own colours on the palette, the textile artist loves the control and freedom of preparing fabrics from scratch. We so enjoy hand dyeing our own fabrics. There are many different methods from bucket dyeing to space dyeing, indigo, rusting, and painting with thick dyes.

Most of the methods that we’ll guide you through are suitable to natural fabrics, cotton, linen and silk. The exception being transfer printing/dyeing, which is suitable for synthetic fabrics such as polycotton poplin. Don’t worry if you don’t have much space or time, we always focus on methods that take a straightforward approach with minimal equipment and products.

Quick buy workshops from this Classroom

Explore the workshops...

  • All
  • Digital Print
  • Discharge Dyeing
  • Dyeing
  • Fabric Painting
  • Foiling
  • Indigo
  • Painting
  • Printing
  • Procion MX
  • Resist
  • Rubbings
  • Rusting
  • Screenprinting
  • Sketchbook and Stitch
  • Stamping
  • Text
  • Transfer print

Using Text: Stamped Shape

Use your favourite letter stamps in a clever way to create shape in your design work. In this workshop Laura prints onto fabric, but you can apply the same principles to your sketchbook, mixed media projects or painting. 

To access this post, you must purchase Using Text: Stamped Shape.

Using Text: Rubbings on Paper and Fabric

Try adding text to your sketchbook pages and fabric using rubbings. Laura will demonstrate how to make the perfect rubbing and share her tips for successful rubbings on fabric with Markal or Shiva paint sticks.

To access this post, you must purchase Using Text: Rubbings on Paper and Fabric.

Text on Textiles: Handwriting

Join Laura to see how she uses her own handwriting in sketchbooks and on fabric as a method for mark making. Watch her sampling process and see how to use text at different sizes to suit your own project.

To access this post, you must purchase Text on Textiles: Handwriting.

Customising Digital Print Fabric

Creating fabric design for digital print is just the start, once the fabric is printed you can still customise it using some of your favourite surface design techniques. In these workshops Laura shows how you can work with a digital print fabric to modify it with discharge dyeing and hand lettering.

Soy Wax Screenprints

Join Laura to see how she uses soya wax to create screenprint designs worked onto fabric with your favourite fabric paints. The wax has a very low melting point and is removed very simply with hot water making application and clean up a breeze.

To access this post, you must purchase Soy Wax Screenprints.

Texture Transfer Leaves

Experiment with transfer printing using disperse dyes or transfer paints on synthetic fabrics. In this workshop Linda will demonstrate how you can use real leaves to add decorative visual texture to your transfer papers before using them to colour fabrics including polycotton or Lutradur.

To access this post, you must purchase Texture Transfer Leaves.

Sketchbook to Textiles – Interpreting Marks

Join Linda for a look through one of her sketchbooks as she talks about mark making and then how it’s possible to interpret those marks into your textile work, in this case using dimensional fabric paint. 

To access this post, you must purchase Sketchbook to Textiles: Interpreting Marks.

Screenprinted Drawings on Fabric

Join Laura is this video to see how she’s been experimenting with a technique that transfers drawings onto fabric using a silkscreen. She’s tried a range of printing mediums and shares with you her favourite. This is a fun technique that captures the essence of a hand drawn image but gives it the quality of a print.

To access this post, you must purchase Screenprinted Drawings on Fabric.

Sketchbook to Fabric

We’re often asked how to translate successful sketchbook pages into fabric techniques. In this video Laura demonstrates how easily that can be done with a little sampling and experimentation. She’ll work with ink, acrylic paint and hand dyeing to interpret design ideas from her sketchbook pages.

To access this post, you must purchase Sketchbook to Fabric.

Stamp and Draw on Paper and Fabric

Some detailed subject matter can be daunting to draw from scratch. In this workshop Linda will show you how it’s possible to use a subtle stamped shape as the base for your drawing. Take all the guesswork out of getting the shapes right and instead enjoy creating a design and drawing the details. Then building on the sketchbook work that Linda did using stamps and drawing, she demonstrates how it’s easily possible to translate those ideas to fabric to make a stitched piece.

Garment Dyeing

Video Workshop – Learn how to dye a garment, either a ready-made item or something you’ve sewn yourself. Laura will show you how to dye your clothes with minimal equipment and exciting results. 

To access this post, you must purchase Garment Dyeing.

Foiling on Fabric

Learn how to foil shapes on fabric. In this workshop Linda will show you two fast and easy methods to add some metallic gleam to your fabric. See her samples and also how she’s used the techniques in her quilts.

To access this post, you must purchase Foiling on Fabric.

Easy Batik Fabrics

Learn how to make your own beautiful batik fabrics with simple mark making and layers of colour. We’ll use simple tools and easy-to-use wax to create these stunning, one of a kind fabrics. They’ll be perfect for use in your quilting making and embroidery, in fact any stitched project.

To access this post, you must purchase Easy Batik Fabrics.

Indigo Overdye

Dive into the fascinating world of indigo! In this workshop Laura will show you how to create stunning fabrics by using simple resist techniques and indigo as an overdye. We just love the results and we think you will too.

To access this post, you must purchase Indigo Overdye.

Dimensional Fabric Paint

Explore how you can use dimensional fabric paints to add extra texture and surface interest to your stitched textiles. Laura demonstrates how to use Puffy and Slick paints which you’ll find available in lots of craft stores and online.

To access this post, you must purchase Dimensional Fabric Paint.

Free – Simple Thread Skeins

If you enjoy dyeing fabric, then it’s highly likely you’re going to want threads to match! In this show see how Laura prepares skeins ready for dyeing.

Indigo and Rust

We just love the combination of indigo and rust dyed fabrics. In this workshop collection we’ll guide you through the essentials of indigo dyeing, plus more advanced methods using pleating, clamping and other simple resist methods. Next try rusting your fabric with iron objects to create incredible organic patterning.

Colour Exchange Dyeing

Create a family of fabrics and threads that will work beautifully together using colour exchange dyeing, a simple hand dyeing technique using minimal equipment and supplies.

To access this post, you must purchase Colour Exchange Dyeing.

Hand Dyeing

In this archive collection of 2 video workshops Laura will show you two of her favourite methods for colouring cloth with hand dyeing techniques. Use Procion MX dyes to colour natural fibre fabrics for fabulous results. You’ll only require simple equipment and Laura will guide you through the processes step-by-step.

Dye Painting

In this collection of three video workshops Laura will demonstrate easy, but highly effective ways to colour cloth with thickened dyes. Explore three different methods for adding colour pattern and line using simple materials and equipment. Laura will show you how to use thickened dyes for these processes, an ideal choice as they won’t stiffen the fabric at all.

Painterly Piecing, Applique and Hand Dyeing

We just love hand dyed fabrics, there’s no better way to create just the colours and colour combinations that we want for our work. In this video collection we’ll show you how to dye your own fabrics and then use them in painterly appliqué and patchwork projects.

The Thick of It

Learn how to thicken Procion MX dyes with Manutex (sodium alginate) so that you can paint or print with them.

Archive Four

In Archive 4 you’ll find a lively mix of some of the very first shows we taped for DMTV. Ranging from sketchbook work, improvisational and paper piecing, there’s lots to inspire.

Archive Three

In Archive 3 you’ll find a lively mix of some of the very first shows we taped for DMTV. Ranging from discharge printing, through altered books and free motion quilting, there’s lots to inspire.

Archive Two

In Archive 2 you’ll find a lively mix of some of the very first shows we taped for DMTV. Ranging from discharge printing, through altered books and free motion quilting, there’s lots to inspire.

Archive One

In Archive 1 you’ll find a lively mix of some of the very first shows we taped for DMTV. Ranging from discharge printing, through altered books and free motion quilting, there’s lots to inspire.

Tips for dyeing threads

Hand dyeing threads for quilting and embroidery is really quite simple. Here are a few tips if you fancy having a go yourself. (My thread is mercerised cotton and I’m dyeing it with Procion MX fibre reactive dye). I think threads are best dyed with a low water immersion technique so I’m using shallow trays (cat litter ones work fine, …