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Home dying fabric in Taiwan

1 Aug

I’d been looking for fabric dye for a while in Taiwan. Apparently such is not easily available on the web, that I could find.

So I lucked out the other day when I came across a hand woven Taiwanese basket shop in the streets behind Taipei Main Train Station, and asked them if they knew a dye shop. They did, and their kind shop owner even took me there directly, though I didn’t buy any baskets from them.

It was a very old dusty store that you wouldn’t have noticed really. So I was really grateful for the directions. In my experience, stores like this either charge exorbitant prices (to make up for their years of under-performing foot traffic), or the same price they charged decades ago when they opened up, which would be considered more than reasonable in today’s market.

This store had the latter.

An old gentleman came out behind a desk and showed me a booklet of sample swatches when I inquired about dye (for plant based fabrics, like cotton). They were good basics, with lighter and richer tones based on the percentage of dye you put in (powder based). Each small container was 50 NT/per. He was patient with me as I looked over the colors. I got 4 colors this time. Here are the instructions (translated from Chinese):

  1. First decide portion of water to fabric ratio
  2. Water to fabric is about 20:1, If you don’t know this, let the water cover the fabric about 3 cm.
  3. The small bottle of dye can dye richer colors of about 0.5kg fabric. For lighter color, use about 0.5%~10% of fabric weigh.
  4. Use a pot and add water, soak fabric wet first then place aside.
  5. Heat water and allow to boil on medium-low fire
  6. Dissolve dye completely in hot water before putting in pot (not directly in pot to prevent inconsistencies)
  7. Add fabric in pot and allow to simmer for 20 min, stirring for even distribution
  8. After 20 min, add salt (same amount as dye used). Notice do not directly add on fabric, but brush fabric to side of pot to add salt in liquid.
  9. Allow to simmer for 20 more minutes, stirring.
  10. Take out of pot and wash with water, until fabric doesn’t wash out with color. Dry (can be in washing machine)
  11. To set color, clean pot, add water (over fabric height), water temp slightly lower than a hot shower (about 35 degree Celsius), add in dye set (about 4 capfuls for 1 shirt), soak for 30 min and dry without washing.

So where is this store I found?

Jiin Bo Dyestuffs Company

Address: 274, Chan An West Rd, Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 02-2558-5828, 02-25586303, 02-2555-2936

The store owner doesn’t speak English, so you should probably point and purchase. Good luck crafters in Taiwan!


The 2 Dimensional fashion bag

28 Jul

One day I saw this bag on a girl.

people have good taste

I thought it looked cute, and easy. Mainly cute. So I decided to make my own.

When it came time to make it, I didn’t look at the picture, I just cut, so it came out slightly different.


mommy’s little helper

And this little piggie went to market.

Contrasting fabric on the inside and outside. When I ran out of the pretty brown that I’d bought as a bundle of scraps, the creamy white was used to continue that side. I think it came out pretty decent.

Utterly frivolous. But such a sweet way to showcase fabric. To be used on non-diaper bag occasions, while gowned in simple colors.