Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Experiment in dyeing


I've been toying with the idea of dyeing some of my clothes.  The ones that I like but for one reason or another I don't wear, like this RTW top.



I love the design and I also love that it's a plain fabric not a print, making it a great basic.  What I don't like is the colour.  Well, that's not entirely true - I do like the colour but the colour doesn't like me; it washes me out and makes me look sick.  So a date with the dye bath was in order.  Choosing a colour was difficult because I didn't know how the underlying colour would affect the outcome of the new colour.  Eventually I decided on blue.  The fabric label said it was made from Lycocel so I chose the iDye Poly thinking it was a man-made fibre as opposed to a natural fibre.   I didn't want it to be too dark so I used only one teaspoon of dye.


As you can see it turned out a bit duller and with a slight blue tinge than before the dye bath, but the result was not entirely unexpected as I had no idea what this fabric was.

See the blue undertones remaining from the dye

Pretty blue stitching and label

I thought the iDye poly would be the correct dye to use.  Clearly that was not the case, however I did get some lovely blue stitching and labels, so I turned to my good friend "Google" and did a little research.  Turns out Lycocel is a man-made fibre made from wood pulp.  Now I'm thinking that's more natural like cotton or linen so back into the dye bath using iDye for natural fibres.  After all what can I lose except that the info said it has a natural reluctance to take dye.  I went with navy this time expecting it not to take again.  I couldn't have been more wrong!



Same pretty blue stitching and label

With only one teaspoon of colour again it came out so dark it's almost black.  Totally not the colour I wanted but still, I like it and I still have blue stitching and labels which I kinda like too.  It will work with my wardrobe but not as well as a lighter blue would.  At least now I have a top that will be worn instead of languishing in the wardrobe.


So in conclusion to my experiment in dyeing I learnt that I need to research what a fabric is made from when I don't know in order to choose a colour and the correct dyeing process.  However, I do  know that when dyeing over a base colour the resulting colour will often be a surprise.

Have you had anything like this happen to you or were you clever enough to know what fibres you were working with beforehand?







7 comments:

  1. I have never over dyed clothing, but I play a lot with dyeing fabric and t-shirts. It is always fun and the results are always a surprise. I like your result, and I really like the blue stitching. I would definitely call this a successful venture.

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    1. Thank you Elle. I think it was a successful venture and a pleasant surprise too.

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  2. I like the original as well as the new color. I have dyed several garments and chose the dye according to the fiber content tag. What I will say is natural fibers are much easier to dye than synthetic.

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  3. You know, I really like how this came out. Though darker than intended, the blue stitching against a nearly black background is fresh and eye-catching in such a great way. I could see this looking fab with denim and gold accessories.

    Big hugs & oodles of joyful Valentine's Day wishes.
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thank you Jessica. I like it too and I often pair things up with denim but I will definitely try it with gold accessories too.

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  4. Fascinating! I have a rule; that I never dye something that I would be devastated if it was ruined ... if that makes sense. However, I just love the new look of your top. The colour turned out beautiful, imo :)

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    1. I like your rule and somehow that's what I was thinking, so I decided to take the risk as it wasn't being worn anyway and I had nothing to lose if it didn't work. Fortunately it did and I love the new colour, even though it's much darker than I intended. I was looking for more of a denim colour : )

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