July 1, 2010

book review: Fabric Dyer's Dictionary 900+ Colors & Specialty Techniques

The Fabric Dyer's Dictionary from Linda Johansen is a great book, especially for a beginning dyer like me.
The tempting color swatches and the clear recipes are perfect to get started.
The warm weather made me take a dip into the dyeing, using already prepared for dyeing (PFD) pieces of fabric (Fat Quarters). The results are very satisfying:

Plum gradation:
From Dyed Fabrics

Clear Yellow to Purple Complementary Cross:
From Dyed Fabrics

Clear Red to Black:
(small amounts of black made the red gradation to purple)
From Dyed Fabrics

The Procion MX fiber reactive dyes I use, are from Jacquard and not from the companies mentioned in the book: Dharma Trading Co. and PRO Chemical & Dye.
Luckily I was able to find the specified or look-a-like colors with the help of the table on this page.

I love to experiment and play with colors, but dyeing by weight gives more reproducible results. Living in the Netherlands I work with the metric system, so I first had to do some research and math to convert the recipes with teaspoons, tablespoons and cups into grams and (mili)liters.

Special techniques such as rope dyeing and painting with thickened dyes are explained in a final chapter. The techniques look very simple and inviting to do. Trying them out will have to wait because I am still in the addictive dyeing mode.

This well illustrated book certainly deserves a place in every dyer's dye book collection or on the bookshelf of quilters who want to create their own one-of-a-kind fabrics. It teaches how to create specific colors and color ranges of dye with lots of color mixing formulas and is also a handy reference guide for the more experienced "dye"-hards.

In this video you can meet Linda as she gives some insights in her Dyer's Dictionary:

The book is amongst others online for sale at:

Thank you for your visit!

More links of interest:


  1. Wow! Those are beautiful fabrics! You did a wonderful job!

  2. If you like mixing and sharing colourpatterns or just like to be inspired you can check out colourlovers.com. I use it sometimes when I need a consistent design for promotional materials.


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