Thursday, June 24, 2010
Today was a good day for dyeing - fabric that is. I bought some iDye fabric dye with the plan of trying to rescue a pair of pants and a top that had met with unfortunate accidents; one with a leaking bottle of wine and the other with some errant bleach splatters. I decided today would be the day to do it.
Based on the recomendation on the package of dye, I decided to forgo the easier washing machine method and use the stove top method. This was recommended for dark colors such as brown, black or highly saturated colors like red and purple. I filled a roasting pan that I had purchased at a garage sale to be used just for dying with water,
poured in the dye (apparently, as I discovered later, I could have just dropped in the plastic packet of dye powder and it would have dissolved), put in the first item, brought it to a simmer, added a cup of salt, and let it simmer for half an hour, stirring often to make sure the fabric was dyed evenly. I pulled the pants out of the dye bath and added the shirt. There was still plenty of dye left. I only left the shirt in for 15 minutes and it dyed just fine. There was still plenty of color so I decided to throw in some linen napkins I had bought at a second hand store that were an ugly orange color
as well as a few kitchen towels that were stained and ugly. Once everything
was dyed I threw them all in the washer with detergent and ran them through a short wash. They are now hanging
on the line drying.
Everything I dyed turned out a nice, rich brown. I was very happy with the results. Of course, the thread on the pants was not cotton thread and/or was coated so it did not take the color, but I think the contrasting thread looks pretty cool. The bleach spots on the shirt are still visible if you look really closely, but not noticeable at all from a distance and much better than the original. The linen napkins are now a very pretty shade of brown.
All in all, thiswas a success. It feels good to take items that I would have had to throw away and make them useable again. It's even better that some of the items were actually from a thrift store in the first place.
Dyeing is easy to do and can breathe new life in used items. Try it yourself!