Saturday, October 20, 2012

I dyed fabric!

Did you know you could dye fabric using Sharpie permanent markers and rubbing alcohol? I didn't but saw a demonstration online and decided to try it.

You'll need:

Sharpie permanent markers, chisel tip, in different colors.
Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol- regular rubbing alcohol the kind you can get at the drug store
Small plastic bottle--travel size used for lotion--to put alcohol in
Fabric of some type, I used a a small piece of muslin (aprox 5x10)
Freezer paper or cardboard to protect your work surface.

Make sure you put down something to protect your work surface, you can use freezer paper or a piece of cardboard. I  DON'T suggest newspaper as the newprint would probably get on your fabric. (You could try it and you might get a cool effect---or not?)

Using the permanent markers draw a design on the fabric:

Using the small bottle drop alcohol into the middle of the design, saturating the design. The design will "bleed" out onto the fabric.

Allow the fabric to dry.

To set the dye, iron DRY fabric several minutes.

There are a couple of videos on You Tube demonstarting this technique. Martha Stewart has one using t shirts that is cool.

Not sure where I'll use this fabric, but had fun exploring this medium.


  1. VERY cool technique- I never would have thought the original design would turn into a beautiful flower! Hmm...what could I make out of some fabric like this? Pillow covers? I wonder if you could make the shapes 'leaf like' and use oranges and rust and brown and it would look "Fallish"?

  2. Hi Irene, Fall colors would be great. It's pretty inexpensive to experiement. If you go on You Tube and search for fabric dyeing with Sharpies there are some videos. I liked the one from the Quilt show where the ladies dyed silk scarves in class and the one of Martha Stewart doing t shirts.

  3. Ronda, you are so inspiring! You aren't afraid to try new techniques, thanks for sharing this one, maybe I'll try it. My wallhanging is ready for binding so I'm going to try the technique from the tutorial that you sent.


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