Can you tell me what dye would be safe to use to do crib bedding?

Name: Deanna
Message: Can you tell me what dye would be safe to use to do crib bedding?

The safest dye for dyeing cotton for babies, or for people with sensitive skin, is called fiber reactive dye. The molecules of this dye actually bond permanently to the fibers in the cotton, so that the dye does not come loose from the fabric and get into the skin of the wearer. 
Fiber-arts.coim sells Procion MX dyes.
The most popular type of fiber reactive dye is called Procion MX. Other good types include Cibacron F and Drimarene K dyes. You can buy Procion MX dye by mail-order from any of the companies listed on my Sources for Dyeing Supplies page, or just click on the picture of the dye jars to the right for a direct link to an excellent source. Be careful to never breathe in any type of dye powder when you are measuring it out. 

You should carefully follow instructions for using Procion MX or other fiber reactive dyes. Use 100% cotton fabric for best results, or 50% cotton/50% polyester for pastel colors. Do not attempt to dye fabric that has been treated to be stain-resistant. Soda ash is used to fix the dye to the fabric, and the dye should be allowed to react with the fabric overnight at 70 degrees F. (21 C); if your room is warmer, you can allow it to react for less time. Dyeing solid colors with fiber reactive dye in the washing machine takes only an hour or so. After dyeing has been completed, you should wash the bedding once in cool water without detergent, and then two or three times in very hot water with detergent. (See "How to Dye".)

The way to test whether all unattached dye has been washed out is to dampen the dyed fabric and iron it dry against some white cotton fabric. If no dye transfer occurs, you have washed out all excess dye. If dye does transfer, you should soak in hot water and wash again.

I do not especially like the idea of all-purpose dye, because it is not permanent the way fiber reactive dye is. You can never wash out every bit of unattached dye, if you use all-purpose dye, and it always bleeds in the laundry. However, I have seen no evidence that there is any harm in using all-purpose dye for baby clothing and bedding, as long as it is washed well before use.

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Posted: Thursday - December 01, 2005 at 06:24 AM          

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