Dyeing Light Linen Dark

I have a several yard length of linen, and one of ramie, that are ivory/beige right now. I would like to dye them both darker colors – but linen is traditionally one of the more difficult natural fibers to dye, and I don’t know anything about dying ramie at all, except that it is “similar” to flax. I’ve used Dharma Trading’s reactive dyes on silk before with fair success, but I was wondering if you had any specific recommendations for dealing with these particular types of fabric? (The lengths have already been washed and dried once; I’m not worried about them shrinking.)

Dear Kara,
These will dye beautifully using the reactive dyes. Since you have a beige already, and desire a darker color, you will get a rich version of the color you choose. I would suggest doing it in the washer. Here’s how I do it: set the washer for a small load on warm. Add 4 cups of salt plus the dye. Agitate 5 minutes. See what you have there. If you want slightly darker, agitate another 5 minutes or longer. If you want really darker, add more dye. When you have approximately the color you want, add 1/3 cup soda ash dissolved in hot water. Agitate 10-15 minutes, then let the cycle finish. Wash one more time all the way through using Synthrapol or your favorite laundry detergent. Wash your finished item separately or with similar colors at least the next 4-5 times.
Have fun!

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