This weekend I did something a bit different from sewing. I decided that the plain bags I had ordered were “too plain” so I headed to the store for dye (and picked up additional totes, too). My intention is that I would dye them then add some graphics with my heat press. Here are my results and some “interesting” findings:
Let me give you a little background. The last time I ordered shirt blanks, I decided to pick up a few, inexpensive totes – they came in a natural (or light beige) color and were $1.50. But when they arrived, I was just underwhelmed, which is what lead me to dye them. While at the store, I picked up a set of 3 white totes that were slightly larger in size and had a much softer hand.
I’ll skip the techniques (because we’ve all probably tried tie dye at some point), but I do want to point out that the inexpensive totes did not dye well at all. In fact, they were almost repelling the dye all together. I wound up putting them inside a ziplock bag with additional dye in hopes that it might soak in overnight. The softer, white totes did a much better job at taking the dye overall, but did require more application than a t-shirt. (Side note, I did toss in a shirt because I had left over dye).
Once I opened these up, I was very disappointed in the inexpensive tote reveal – the dye only penetrated the exposed fabric and never soaked through anywhere else (even thought I attempted to insert the nozzle into the creases and tried to “inject” them with the dye). Even soaking them in dye overnight didn’t work. So I attempted to just lay them in the extra dye which only resulted in making them look dingy. Overall, a terrible experience. Fortunately the white totes turned out great.
After rinsing, I decided that I would soften the colors some (and prevent bleeding because even after rinsing, I still hints of blue) in the wash. I really like the end result (shown above)! I even threw in the inexpensive totes into the wash – they are still stiff and ugly.
Once everything was dry, I added my graphics… I also picked up a drawsting bag (also in neutral, but it has a much nicer hand and better color) and put a fun design on it as well. Overall, I love the end result – it’s more fun that a plain tote, although it may make it a bit harder to read in spots. I may try my hand at bleach dying (spraying bleach) onto a color tote bag and see what happens…. but only when it finally decides to warm up!