Prefolds have come to be our daytime cloth diaper of choice. Honestly, we’ve had leaks with every type of diaper, other than prefolds. Depending on Monkey’s size, we seem to always have 24 in rotation…with a few all-in-ones, pockets, and fitteds mixed in.
Since this is my first child, and subsequently my first time cloth diapering, I’ve been making an effort to buy different brands as Monkey grows. The problem with this, though, is that different brands use different colored thread for the stitching. So, we ended up with 24 yellow edged pre-folds…12 in one size, and 12 in another. It started to get really annoying when doing diaper laundry because I used the smaller sized yellow prefolds as inserts or doublers, and the larger size as actual diapers. I was having to hold them up to each other when folding laundry to figure out which was which. Finally, I had the idea to dye the smaller size!
I happened to have some dye stored away with my craft stuff – not sure if I bought it in my pre-crunchy days, or if someone gave it to me or what, but I’d rather use it than just get rid of it…and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. At some point I hope to try out dying some prefolds with fruits and/or veggies! *added to long term to-do list*
This adventure was fun and I was totally thrilled with the results. I did a few extra washes/rinses to make sure that all of the dye was rinsed out and wouldn’t irritate Monkey’s delicate skin.
+ Rubber Gloves
+ Prefolds (mine were organic, unbleached cotton)
+ Fabric Dye (I had some dylon dye on hand)
What to do:
*Note – I don’t like to follow instructions, so my ‘how-to’ is very different than what’s on the back of the package. The package calls for continual stirring for like 15 minutes at a time. I did NOT have time to do this with a little baby…and the husband was out of town, so I improvised. This is probably why I suck at cooking…because I rarely follow recipes.
1. If you want your prefolds to come out as bright as advertised on the package of dye, follow the instructions listed for weighing your fabric. I had 12 prefolds and 3 packs of dye, so I just did 4 in each bucket. I think the colors came out pretty vibrant! Just keep in mind that this tutorial uses one packet per four prefolds.
2. Add the packet of dye and one cup of salt to your dying bucket.
3. Slowly add 6 liters of warm water. Careful not to let the dye splash up on you!
4. Put on your rubber gloves and stir until well mixed. I stirred one color, then rinsed off the gloves, then moved onto another color. Worked fine for me! No need to be meticulous here, if you get one or two drops of orange dye in the blue dye, it’s not going to be a big deal.
5. Add your fabric to the bucket. I put on the gloves, added 4 prefolds to one color and stirred for about 3 or 4 minutes. Then, I rinsed off the gloves and did the same with the other two colors. Make sure that you push the fabric below the surface of the water when you move to the next color. Sometimes, the fabric kept popping above the surface, so I added a bit of water.
6. Wait 30 minutes.
7. Stir each color again for 3-4 minutes each.
8. Wait 30 minutes.
9. Rinse for just a minute or two in utility sink, then throw in washing machine and do just a cold rinse. I did this with each color individually. *If you don’t have a utility sink, I’m sure you could just throw the diapers straight into the wash. I’ve read tutorials where people have done the entire dying process in the washing machine.
10. After each color has been through a cold rinse cycle, wash all colors together like normal with detergent. (Hot wash/cold rinse)
11. Repeat hot wash/cold rinse with detergent. This step might not be necessary, but I wanted to make sure all of the dye was out so that it wouldn’t irritate Monkey’s bum.
12. Hot wash/cold rinse with no detergent.
13. Extra rinse if you feel it’s necessary.
14. Dry by hang drying or in dryer. (I used the dryer because I’ve read that the dye can leave the fabric kind-of stiff at first, so I hoped to fluff it up a bit)
Have you dyed your prefolds or other cloth diapers? How did they turn out and what type of dye did you use?
April 30, 2012
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