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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 22 December 2017
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782215554
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 195x225 mm
  • Illustrations: 170
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £12.99
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A Beginner's Guide to Dyeing and Sewing


12 step-by-step lessons and 21 projects to get you started by Clémentine Lubin

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Book Description

Whether you’re looking to refresh, transform or personalise your clothing, soft furnishings or fabric accessories, or to dye fabric so that you can create brand-new items, this book has you covered.

This simple but rich and informative book contains everything you need to know to start dyeing. It shows you how to create 12 dazzling dye effects from tie-dyeing and dip-dyeing to creating checks, lines, droplets and bubbles and then shows you how to put them into practice to create 21 gorgeous sewn projects, ranging from bags and pillows to towels, scarves and clothing.

It offers advice on dyeing printed fabrics and working with a base colour, as well as guidance on washing and maintaining dyed fabric. The dyeing techniques are created either in the washing machine, by hand or in the microwave, and clear instructions are given for each method. The book focuses on readily-available chemical dyes, but the dye effects could transfer to natural types as well. All the sewing steps are explained clearly, with handy illustrations to provide clarity where necessary.

Table of Contents

Why dye? 5
What to dye 6
The qualities of dyed fabrics 8
Different types of dye 10
The Colours 12
Dyeing: general principles 14
Equipment 16
Sewing box 18
The main principles of dyeing 20
Creating effects 24
Creating random patterns by knotting 24
Making a big circle 25
Creating a bubble effect 26
Creating plant-like effects 27
Creating a dip-dyed effect 28
Creating a wide, irregular line 29
Creating geometric checks 30
Creating narrow lines 31
Creating effects with a spray 32
Creating a droplet effect 33
Creating a ‘stain’ effect 34
Particular case: Dyeing wool 35
Dyeing in the washing machine 36
Hand dyeing 82
Dyeing in the microwave 116

About the Author

About Clémentine Lubin

Clémentine Lubin is in love with sewing. She is the author of numerous titles with Marie Claire Books: L’Agenda Couture Singer (2016), Je couds pour ma fille (2016), Coudre pour l’école (2016), J’apprends à coudre des robes et des jupes (2015), J’apprends à coudre des hauts (2015). She is also one of the authors of the best-seller A Beginner's Guide to Machine Sewing (2013), a reference book to learn sewing. 


Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers

Originally written in French, the first section of this translation describes the types of cloth that are suitable for dyeing and the principles of dyeing by hand, in the washing machine and in the microwave. I found the explanation of the different types of dye (liquid, powder, all-in-one and wool/silk/polyamide dyes) to be rather facile. At no time does the author explain that she is using 'union' or 'universal' dyes, nor does she suggest any trade names or suppliers. However, there are clear explanations of how to create a variety of effects, including tie, dip and spray-dyeing. The second section consists of 21 projects in which dyed items of cloth ing, drapery or new fabric are further altered by sewing. In most cases the projects are attractive, with clear explanations and excellent photographs. However, in my opinion some of the descriptions of the techniques used, whilst adequate for an experienced sewer, would be insufficient for a beginner. Overall, the book is well-presented and fulfils the aim of introducing the beginner to some interesting dyeing effects, but I doubt that it will have much appeal to those who are seeking to explore the world of dyeing in greater depth.

Popular Patchwork

May 2018

Dyeing fabrics and clothing can be rather hit and miss. Help is at hand in this useful book, which teaches best practice for hand dyeing, machine dyeing and even dyeing in the microwave. The book focuses on readily available chemical dyes, but the methods can just as easily be transferred to natural dyeing techniques. The 21 projects cover a range of different effects from tie-dyeing a T-shirt to creating a funky towel using ping-pong balls and elastic bands. The projects require basic sewing techniques and you'll learn how to turn an old pair of jeans into a bag or add some decorative cuffs to a dip-dyed shirt. As someone who's ruined a perfectly good Arran jumper by shocking the wool in a hot wash, I was interested in Clementine's sensible advice on dyeing different materials (apparently, I should have soaked it in cold water and slowly brought up the temperature when dyeing.) If you're into up-cycling and personalising without too much palaver, this is a great little book to get you started with off-the-shelf dyes. 


One great appeal of DIY is to the ability to personalize. Whats the point in making it yourself if its going to end up looking like it was mass produced? Dyeing fabric allows for a one-of-a-kind look, and when combined with home sewing, the result can be a truly unique item. This book focuses solely on chemical dyes (as opposed to natural dyes made from plants in ones garden) but offers a variety of methods, including using a washing machine, hand dyeing, and dyeing in a microwave. Twelve lessons show the effects that can be created by knotting, tying, dipping, clamping, spraying, and other methods, each illustrated with step-by-step color photos. To use these effects in combination with the various methods of dyeing, the reader is offered 21 projects for a variety of bags, table linens, home décor, and clothing. Some projects are sewn, and others repurpose or refresh existing pieces. Most of the sewing is fairly straightforward, but the instructions are extremely brief, so an existing knowledge of sewing will be useful.


This is a basic guide to using the type of chemical dyes you can buy in liquid or powder form, not the natural variety you make yourself.  As the author comments you need a garden plus plenty of space and time to create these, so why not have fun with the commercially available, modern type? 


I have dabbled a little with these dyes and formerly had a washing machine with a purple rubber seal to prove it.  With these easy to follow instructions you can have better luck, and discover what fabrics work best, what to use when and how to get the best results.  Pages are well laid out with direct advice, often making good use of captioned photographs and it is easy to find the relevant section for what you want to do.  As well as an introduction showing what you need and giving basic information there are twelve lessons and twenty-one projects.  The lessons are all about creating effects and each takes up a page so you can discover how to dip-dye, tie dye, use a spray, work with wool and more.  Some of the photographs could do with being slightly larger, but the short captions make it all pretty obvious.  Before this there is a section which deals with dyeing by hand, in the washing machine and even in the microwave.  This tells you clearly the parts the packets sometimes leave out or make less clear (hence that purple rubber) and all three of these methods are further expanded on in the projects section.  These projects often involve basic sewing techniques and show simple ways (often with diagrams) of upcycling existing items or making from scratch a number of items.  Turn old jeans into a bag with the addition of dye and some leather, dup-dye and add fancy cuffs to a long-sleeved white T-shirt, make a scarf, zipper bag and even a dress with just basic materials.  Or you can merely dye things and create a tie-dyed towel, a set of matching placemats or liven up an old cushion cover.  A well worded book like this shows how fun and easy home dyeing can  be.


If you cannot find a good range of dyes locally try http://www.searchpress.com for a list of suppliers. 

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