When I started my hand dyed fabric business I was dyeing 10 - 15 yards of fabric each week. It was easy to do all of the prep work and dyeing in the same day. Now I dye about 50 yards of fabric in each session so I've had to organize myself better.
It starts with a log of what I need to do. I dye once a week, usually on Wednesday, and as orders come in or something sells out I note it on the schedule for next week.
On Tuesday I get all of the fabric cut and ready. I do not scour my fabric. I find that the fabric that I purchase from Testfabrics doesn't require scouring. I get my backing fabric from Marshall Dry Goods and it does require scouring.
Next I have to figure out how much dye I need. I only use 11 colors: the 10 pure colors that Dharma Trading sells (Lemon Yellow, Deep Yellow, Deep Orange, Light Red, Fuchsia, Sky Blue, Turquoise, Cerulean, Cobalt, Grape) and Jet Black. I use this spreadsheet to calculate how much dye concentrate I will need for every item I and dyeing. That give me a total amount needed for each concentrate.
I get out the dye concentrates left from the last session and check the expiration dates and the amount of dye I have. Compared against the chart I know exactly how much more dye I need.
This week I only needed to mix 3 more concentrates. I do my dyeing this way so that I only have to handle the dye powders once. I always use a respirator to mix the concentrate because I have asthma and I don't want to make it worse. Once the dyes are liquid they are very safe.
Now it's play time! I have my concentrates, fabrics and my recipe binder and that's where you can find me almost every Wednesday....like today. Is this a great job or what?