with the addendum of trying some heat set as well as the color
so, two layers one of a poly sheer one of cotton, laid one on top of the other, stitched and pulled, dyed with a pale turquoise color and an aqua (both thickened to try to preserve some of the texture), after dyeing they were heat set (microwave method)
all color came out of the white poly (of course)
and I expect most texture will eventually come out of the cotton.
I really like the play between them when kept on top of one another.
Finally I tried attaching a jingle shell to the two layers using (yup) metallic thread and this method. I love a bunch of stuff about this but I will have to work on how to connect the two layers and more shells... I think it may become a fragment of Aphrodite's armor.