Monday, 6 February 2012

How to: Dye your clothes!

Ok, so this is a fairly self explanatory article but I thought I'd share my experiences anyway.

I am an experienced laundry do-er but recently I made the big slip-up and managed to dye a load of my clothes pink!  I think something red snuck in there and just leaked all over the place.  This would have been fine if not for two things, i) I don't suit pink and ii) one of my favourite dresses and my white towel along with all the white underwear was in there! I'd only worn the dress a few times (it's a very kind donation from my sister) but it really was a favourite of mine so I was quite angry that I'd managed to dye it pink. Also, because I'd only worn it a few times, I don't have any pictures of it not pink so you'll have to imagine.  It was navy blue and white stripe.

Got it? Ok, on with the photos of the damage...

If you compare the pink towel to the white one, you can see the scale of the damage!  All of those items ought to be white!

This is the previously blue and white dress, now pink and black!

The Dylon dye colour I thought would suit it best was Olive Green.

You have to be careful when choosing a dye colour as it has to be bold enough to cover the existing colour.  I was thinking about a yellow or orange dye but they would have been corrupted by the pink.  Also, I was worried about looking like a bumble bee...

Putting the dye into the washing machine drum, as per the instructions.

Pouring salt over the dye powder as a fixative, as per the instructions.

In go the damp, unfolded pink clothes (as per instructions)

The the water turned really murkey...

At this point, I then had to wait almost 3 hours for our washing machine to run a full cycle with the dye in (because our washing machine uses its own timescale for things).  Then once thats done, you run it again but with regular detergent in it.  After that you can take out the clothes (and then run the machine empty with detergent and admire the foam!).  I can't express how excited I was to see the result, but waiting that long for it nearly killed me!

My newly green clothes:

The green on the dress turned out fantastically and it'll suit me a lot better than the pink!

The towel was a little overwhelming.  I was hoping the leaves wouldn't dye but it turns out they were cotton thread (polyester thread doesn't take standard Dylon dye, as you'll see in a minute)

This is a close-up on the stitching on my bra.  The fabric itself must be a polyester blend as it took a lighter colour but as you can see the stitching took no dye at all, so I've got a nice "contrast" effect... If that's what you like. Looks like I'm going to have to...

On the whole, I think it turned out really well! Just goes to prove that you can save your mis-dyed clothes... Hooray!

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