Some things to be aware of when dyeing . . .
- You still need salt as a binder even with a Rit (a professional grade dye often uses soda ash fixer)
- Different fabrics will take the dye differently, sometimes the thread used to sew a fabric won't take when the fabric will
- Some fabrics just won't dye
- Wash according to instructions
- I only needed the gloves for the rinse
- Wear black
- Run your washing machine on rinse cycle empty after washing the dyed fabric
Of course dyeing requires a very large stainless steel pot, and a take-over of the kitchen for several hours. I have an old wooden spoon re-purposed and a set of rubber gloves and I have a back patio with a drain (right now) which is excellent for rinsing. With the weather improved I decided to finally get rid of the stacks waiting to be dyed and did one brown and one black.
Items waiting for the brown bath. Mostly steampunk trim, a shirt, some long socks.
Back when I was a far more dedicated costumer I used to hit up Dharma for powder dyes and soda ash fixer spend a half a day dyeing large amounts of fabric to the exact shade I desired.
Dye and salted water heating, the items rinsing before the bath.
These days I use Rit with salt instead. I know, terribly lazy. I've had good results with their Dark Brown before, and I love the chocolaty warmth of the color.
Dyeing in progress.
As ever, part of the fun with dyeing is seeing how the different fabrics react. I was pretty pleased with the results.
Got a little excited photographing the dangling trims.
So, there we have it. Quite a range. I'm not certain what outfit they will decorate but they'll certainly show up on something. As ever, I'm pleased with the brown, black on the other hand . . .
Black is the hardest color to dye, Fashionable Reader. Yes I'm certain there is some scientific explanation for this, but that is irrelevant because I'm winching here. Black is also the most useful color. I've never been as huge a devotee of black as many of my Goth friends, but I do find it makes for an excellent accessory and tends to be something I reach for more than should.
The big bow in the middle got discarded when it became evident there was no way the dye would take.
I had a collection of items I really wanted to be black with very specific intentions: some socks and tight which were the victims of laundry bleeding and so needed to be less dingy, trim for a dress, a hat that was the Wrong Pink, and a navy jack that I loved the fit but never wear.
The black dye bath.
The final results.
Not a success on the black. The socks are OK, gray + black + cream is a nice combination. And the tights, possibly the thing I will wear the most as I live in tights in the winter, came out fine. But the trim was more mauve, and I've no use for that. The hat is a pretty color, but not the color I want. However, as it is a hat, I'm thinking I can hand stain it, so that's the next challenge. And the jacket. Woe to the jacket. It's cotton so I thought it would take the dye (even black dye) well, but all that happened was it became a darker navy. I'm not certain what to do about it. I love the cut and the retro blazer style, it fills a gap in my wardrobe, but only if it is black. I'm considering doing another dye professional grade, but that is a lot of work for one jacket. Sigh. Rest assured, I shall keep you abreast of the situation. (See what I did there? Abreast? Retro rack? Oh, I'm soooo amusing.)