Every year since moving to New York, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving. One of my favorite parts is making the invitations. This year I decided to make napkins and send them to all my guests. I like thinking of my friends bringing the napkins to Thanksgiving and then keeping them so they can have a physical memory of the day. To be honest, these napkins are semi-homemade, but still take a little time to make.
First I went to Ikea and bought some cheap dish towels. I love the simple patterns and thought they would look great over-dyed. Then I did some research and found a product called iDye. iDye allows for easy dyeing at home, and it is even better if you have a washer and dryer in your house. I unfortunately do not, unless you count the washers and dryers in the creepy basement of my apartment building. So I bought a large stock pot to use for the stovetop dyeing method. It is important I emphasize that all materials used should only be for dyeing and never used for cooking EVER. I think iDye could do a better job of stating this. It is also really important to work as cleanly as possible and avoid spilling dye.
The process was pretty simple. I chose Emerald Green and Gold Ocher. First, fill a pot with hot water and drop the dye packet in. Then add the wet fabric, bring to a boil, add salt, and stir for 30 minutes. Then I popped them in the wash with Synthrapol (a powerful soap that helps remove all dye) and dried them in the dryer. They came out really bright – too bright. YIKES!
So I decided to try to try to use black tea to tone them down, all 100 bags. I basically did the same dyeing process as with the dye packets, except with the tea.
That definitely helped with the Emerald Green, but I still wasn’t happy with the Gold Ochre. So I ordered Turquoise, and did the process all over AGAIN to make it a little greener. In the end, I was satisfied with the results.
I ended up sewing a satin stitch in bright pink for a little pop of color.
I then assembled the acorn and squirrel invitations and placed them in a large envelope with lots of stamps and a little pop of pink to bring it all together.
I ended up ordering all my dyeing supplies for Dharma Trading Co.. They have a lot of great supplies for anyone interested in textiles. I would definitely recommend!