My adventures in dyeing

Hi everyone I have written a blogpost on the Bernina blog (click) on how I dye my bra making supplies. After my first adventures in dying I wanted to try out every color I owned (all Dharma Acid Dyes) to make a reference book. Here are my results:

My testing setup…

I dyed Brabuilder’s microduoplex, sheer cup lining, BWear’s powernet and white strap elastic from al local seller (which was a mistake, I think the one I got from BWear is higher quality e.g. more nylon content, that would have taken the dye better).

All the colors (unless stated otherwise) were mixed using a 1% dye solution and dyed for 10 Minutes. The material weighed 1.33 grams so I used 0.015g of dye. I have a microscale to weigh dye (my partner uses the same scale to weigh hobs and yeast to make beer).

The Neutrals

From top to bottom: 488 Ivory, 435 Soft Tan, 413 True Black, 484 Platinum, 426 Pecan Brown. I mixed the Pecan Brown again with a 2% solution and left it in for 20 minutes (left) and 30 minutes (right).

The Reds, Oranges and Yellows

From top to bottom: 402 Fire Engine Red, 440 Oxblood Red, 430 Persimmon, Brilliant Yellow. I mixed the Fire Engine Red and the Oxblood Red again with a 2% dye content and left the swatches in for 20 minutes (left) and 30 minutes (right).

The Blues

From top to bottom: 472 Blued Steel, 409 Dark Navy, 404 Sapphire Blue, Baby Blue Eyes.

The Greens

From top to bottom: 434 Pistacchio, 450 Sage Leaf, 452 Forest Green, 408 Teal Green.
I mixed the Forrest Green and the Teal Green again with a 2% solution and left the swatches in for 20 minutes (left) and 30 minutes (right).

The Purples and Pinks

From top to bottom: 441 Peach Blush, 432 Antique Mauve, 458 Cabernet, 405 Deep Purple, 431 Lilac

As you can see not all the dyes achieve the same saturation under the same conditions. That’s why it’s important to test your dye before you use it on the live product.

I just love dyeing my own notions. This test helped me a lot to understand how the different colors work. 

Also, I made a lot of mistakes along the way by being lazy on not stirring.

I hope this small test will help you along your way.

Happy sewing!



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This Post Has 4 Comments

    1. Nadine

      Hi Lillian
      Hmmm, I’d rather buy all the white stuff (just as you said), then dye the supplies and then sew it up. If you do it the other way around, you would need to match your thread color to your dye result before knowing it, since polyester thread (recommended for bra sewing) doesn’t take the acid dye. Plus, if you mess up the dyeing process (streaky bits) and your bra is already sewn up….
      Let me know how it worked out 🙂

  1. Sandy

    This is brilliant! I haven’t dipped my toe into dyeing, except to do hook and eye tape for a longline Helena when we were doing the testing. But I have dreams… I’ve done an acid dye sample book for wool yarns, but not for bra making fabrics. This will be an excellent reference for future work, especially if you also keep a dye notebook and sample when you mix your own colours (because we all know that is what will happen next 😉). Thank you for writing about it. I’ll try to do the same.

    1. Nadine

      Hi Sandy
      I just wanted to give myself better options. Some colors did not turn out the way I thought they would and this way I can sort of visualize where a color will take me. The tip about the colors and the notebook was (I think) from Sue Folts from Brabuilders. The queen of dyeing <3

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meet the author

Hi! My name is Nadine and I’ve been sewing my own clothes since 2017. I love making underwear – especially bras. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cooking and reading!

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