Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hand Dyed Vintage Seam Binding

Just because Maia asked....
Maia of asked how I dyed the vintage seam binding from the last post and I am thrilled to be able to share what I have learned experimenting thus far .


Posh Rainbow Ink from Ranger Industries (I purchased the sample pack until I figured out which colors I would be using compulsively! Oh My Lord, I just noticed they had metallics!)

Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Walnut Stain also by Ranger Industries

Seam Binding either vintage or new

glass or metal bowl somewhat deep

extra jars to keep your surplus dye in, just in case you need to dye anything else

gloves if you find the look of dyed fingernails bothers you for a good week or so

running water

towels - old towels you don't mind adding blotches of color to

a funnel
scrap pieces of muslin or other dye able material

I worked in the kitchen so I could easily clean up any spills, I added about an inch of water to the glass bowl, added 10 drops of the dye ink to the water and 3 drops of the walnut stain to give them an aged look.
At first I stirred it up, but then I found I really enjoyed the look of placing the yardage of seam binding into the water/dye without stirring. It dried to a water color effect, with some areas heavier with color then other.
So stir... or don't. :)

I then, measured out yards of seam binding and dunked them into the dye, poking at it until it was submerged. The longer you keep your binding in the dye, the more concentrated the color will be. I didn't keep mine in very long, minutes maybe, but I know this from our egg dying at Easter.

I took my bowl back to the sink, set up an extra glass jar in the bottom and wrung out the wadded up and tangled mess of dye filled binding over the jar, then placed it onto a spread out towel (you might need more protection if you actually care about what happens to your counter top) and kinda fluffed it and pulled it apart so it wasn't so tangled and it could air dry easier.

I poured the extra dye left over in the bowl into the jar placed in the sink, I wish I would've had a funnel for this as I splashed a lot out that went down the drain.
Wiped the drips away with a paper towel ( and I wish I would've had a couple pieces of muslin for this as my paper towels were BEAUTIFUL by the end of the experiment!) and set up the water and bowl for the next color.

I repeated the same thing for each color, noticing that the walnut stain wasn't really aging them like I had hoped but once they dried it didn't matter as they are breathtakingly lovely.
I keep them out on my work desk just to touch.
I think if I were to use the walnut stain more liberally, it would have shown up better.

Have fun with this if you try it! I think I am going to try the muslin with my left over dye next time.


  1. COOLNESS! Thank you so much for your detailed description. I've never heard of those dyes and will have to purchase some for myself. Really, those seam bindings are delicious and I'm having supply envy.

    Thank you, too, for your most excellent description of my shoulder bags. Would you mind if I used it in my Etsy listings - with credit for your brilliance, of course?

  2. Yay! I'm helpful!

    Please use that description, but you don't need to credit me, they were words inspired by your awesome TALENT!

  3. ohhhhh, dyed fabric binding. how pretty! you are so talented.

    happy mother's day to you, hope you had a restful day as well.

    i will convo you this week.

    take care my friend.

  4. that is a gorgeous picture.
    lovely beautiful colors


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