CTFP: Dyeing clothing takes patience, and right materials

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What: Hand-dyed clothing

Company: Julie Belle Designs

Address: 2301 E. 28th St.

Web site: www.juliebelledesigns.com

Telephone: 706-218-3993

Owners: Julie Jones

Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press 
Julie Jones dyes skirts in her Rivoli Art Mill studio Thursday afternoon. She sells tie-dyed clothing items at the Chattanooga Market and other locations.

What’s special: Jones said she makes her products using dyeing techniques from Japan and Thailand. Most of the children’s clothing is made using traditional tie-dye, but for women’s and men’s, she said she likes to use more advanced techniques. “It produces this beautiful, complex, sophisticated patterning on the fabric from using multiple dye-and-discharge technique,” Belle said.

The origin story: Jones studied fabric arts 13-14 years ago when she was in college, which is where she began dyeing fabric. She said she had been dyeing silk for years, which constituted the bulk of her inventory until two years ago when a customer asked her to make a tie-dyed duvet for her daughter. Now, she only works on painted silk, with the rest of the month devoted to tie dye.

How long does it take to make: A batch of 30 shirts takes 26 hours, including soaking in a binding solution, tying, dyeing, batching overnight in a warm, moist environment and multiple washings.

Where it’s sold: Chattanooga Market, Handsel and Co., Hidden Treasures and Umbra Essence.

How long have they been making them: Since 2008

Expansions planned: Jones said she would like eventually to move into a bigger studio. She also is working on setting up an online store, which should be up in a couple of weeks.

Lessons of the trade: “With doing hand dyeing, you need a lot of patience so you can take time,” Jones said. “You can’t skimp on your materials, your chemicals. I know a lot of people who start doing tie dye come out with chalky tie dye because they don’t use enough chemicals.

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