Indigo Dyeing Cloth For Quilting

Blue Monday :: All About Creating Indigo Cloth 2 Dye For

My Blue Monday blogs are all about my indigo dye process.  I dye yardage for quilting and sewing and wearables such as socks, shawls and clothing.  I’ll begin with sharing how I select fabric to dye for quilting.  All of the fabric that I dye for quilting is cellulose or plant based.  Natural dyes don’t work on synthetic fabrics, so no blends are selected.  I read the fiber content label on the end of a fabric bolt.  My quilting fabric consists of the following:

All Muslin Fabrics

Muslin >> I prefer premium 100% unbleached cotton muslin with a tightly woven thread count.  I also want fabric that has had no chemical treatments.  I avoid bleached muslin because the whiting process makes the fibers weak.  If I’m going to take the time and care to dye fabric, I want it to be as strong as possible.  Bleached muslin is thinner, fragile and prone to tearing easily after dyeing.  Dye colors come out crisper on unbleached cotton fabric.  Muslin is available in different widths including 108”, which is ideal for dyeing a quilt backing.

Various Naturally Dyed Fabrics

Broadcloth >> Premium 100% cotton broadcloth is another favorite for quilting.  It can be difficult to find other than Kona cotton, and is more expensive per yard than muslin.  However, broadcloth takes dye beautifully.

Variety of Resist Dye Patterns for Quilting

Yardage >> Most of my yardage is in two or three yard bundles.  But depending on the resist design pattern I also dye one yard and fat quarters.  If I know I’ll be using strips, I break the fabric into strips before dyeing.  The yardage is dependent on the resist design pattern that I use.  To have variation in a quilt made from indigo dyed fabric, I create different visual patterns by manipulating the design created to resist the dye.  Some resist designs take longer to create than others, such as Gullah and Shibori stitch patterns and Algonquin wrap techniques.  I also create variety and contrast on indigo quilts by using fabrics colored with other natural dyes and store bought batiks.

Published by Carola Jones, Artist

Indigenous Artist, Writer, Designer | Internet Techie | Pow Wow Dancer | Lover of Dyeing Cloth Especially With Indigo, Madder & Marigold | 4th Generation Hand Embroidery & Sewing Enthusiastic | Working Traveler | NC Toisnot & Mattamuskeet Tuscarora & FL Seminole | Algonquin Gullah Mixed Blood

2 thoughts on “Indigo Dyeing Cloth For Quilting

  1. Very good blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any tips? Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great questions. I feel that writing is like any other creative endeavor. The more you try, the better you’ll get. I read top-rated blogs and instructional blogs about writing. I’m learning to write and by no means have I mastered the craft. But I keep practicing. My advice is to write, write and write some more. Just don’t become discouraged and give up.


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