One of the biggest challenges in the Alabama Chanin process was sourcing cotton jersey - I was not expecting this. There are a few online options, but not exactly what I was looking for.
Lucky for me, I work right down the road from the storefront location of Dharma Trading Co. They are my main source for silk organza, but they also have a whole lot of different fabric options if you are not opposed to a lot of white, or going through the extra step of dying.
I have worked with RIT and Tulip brand dyes in the past with mixed results. This process was more involved, to be sure, but the end result was much better.
I purchased Cotton Jersey, Fiber Reactive Procion Dye, Soda Ash, Professional Textile Detergent, Non-Iodized Salt, and Gloves.
For the first batch, I placed a scrap of cotton over the top of the container which contained my dye and about 1 cup of water, secured the fabric with a rubber band, and dumped it into the sink with my salted water. Not a great idea (especially considering I had not yet put my rubber gloves on). The water did not funnel through the fabric quickly enough, so it had nowhere to go but climb the fabric along with the pigment onto my hands. I felt a bit like Anjelica Huston's character in Ever After after she landed in the dye bath.
For the next batch, I covered a second container with fabric and poured the liquid into it, giving the dyed water time to seep through the cloth. So much better!
And my colors . . . Emerald and Sapphire . . . I swear I did not see the connection until I was standing at the sink and spooning the powder into a container. I guess I have gemstones on my mind!
In the end, I am quite impressed with how even the color turned out. It is certainly more work than purchasing fabric that is ready to go, but I am confident there will be more fabric dye in my future. And, to be honest, it was not nearly as difficult as I expected . . . just a bit tedious.