Tie-Dye Handbags

Dyed Felted Handbag

My birthday was last week, so my friends, knowing I’m crafty, threw me a tie-dye t-shirt party.  Of course, I had to try it on one of my handbags!

I’ve been thinking about trying to dye a purse for a while.  I don’t know much about dying.  My research just left me somewhat overwhelmed with choices.  So, this party was a perfect excuse to give it a go.  I mean, if I failed, all I was out was a couple of skeins of yarn and a little bit of time.

Tie Dye ShirtThere were 10 of us dying t-shirts.  We sat on the back deck and scrunched up our t-shirts.  We did the dying in the back yard so we didn’t make a huge mess in the house.  After an hour of drinking, the event was like a free-for-all!  Everyone was grabbing the dyes and squirting them on their t-shirts as fast as they could.  We had about ten different colors of dye, but we were running out of the popular colors, so if you wanted a particular color, you had to grab it quickly before it was gone.  As the birthday girl, they gave me about a five second head start, but that was about it.  Chaos reigned – and it was fun!

My t-shirt turned out pretty well for my first time doing this.  After everyone was finished, I grabbed whatever colors were left for my clutches.  Since this was an experiment anyway, I felted one clutch and just knitted the other one without felting it.  The clutch at the top was the one I felted before dying.  Wool repels water somewhat, so it was a challenge to get the dye to sink in.  Instead of creating a solid color, it left streaks (which I think looks cool!).

Failed ClutchUnfortunately for the other clutch, I only had black dye left.  A friend of mine dyed this one and smooshed the dye into the wool in an effort to saturate it.  So, this one definitely looked different.  However, this one was a complete fail!  The black dye washed out and left a purply-greeny color that looks more like a bruise.  I guess if I’m going to fail, I might as well fail big!  This one ended up in the trash heap.

Anyway, it was a fun experience.  Have any of you tried to dye your knitted items?  Did you have a good outcome?  If you did, please share your secrets of success!

Happy knitting!


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