I've been making Christmas gifts for The Captain's great office staff - herb salt, altered clipboards, stamped coasters, notebooks and tags and couldn't think of what to do this year until I saw some dyed tea towels.
Martha always comes up with the best ideas, like dyeing Tekla tea towels from Ikea. My friend Jeanne and I took a road trip to Ikea recently so she could be introduced to the whole Ikea experience. We had a great day, finding all kinds of things we didn't know how to pronounce or what they were, but suddenly we knew we needed all things umlaut! I snagged a few dozen cotton Tekla towels.
This is a pretty simple project - wash towels, add wet towels to dye bath in washer following the instructions on the bottle - nothing complicated ! I washed and dried the towels to remove any fabric sizing and to make sure they did any shrinking funny- business before going any further - no shrinking.
I used Rit liquid dye in Emerald, Golden Yellow, Flame and Teal. I only dye in the washing machine, not on the stove, because I don't trust myself not to spill dye on my new butcher block counter! I fill the washer with hot water, add the dye and let it agitate a bit before carefully dropping in the still-wet, newly washed towels. I tried to be sure the towels were fully opened as they went into the dye-water to make sure there wouldn't be any folds preventing the dye from penetrating the fabric. I let the towels agitate a few minutes, then stopped the machine to let the towels soak up the color, then finished the wash cycle and one additional rinse. Dried the towels on high heat to further set the color. (I run a washing cycle with bleach when I'm done dyeing to make sure I don't end up with any residual dye on our clothes!).
Then I folded two different colors together and tied them with twine.
I love how well the towels soaked up the color and that the red stripe didn't.
It's a towel bouquet!