Saturday, March 29, 2014

defying the laws of god and man or: dyeing synthetic fabrics

there comes a time in every goths life in which we have to dye something black. it is, frankly, inevitable. 
it's frustrating to dye things that are made of synthetic fibers. or so i've heard. because of that, i never tried it. i've dyed things (silk, cotton) with regular old RIT dye and those always came out fine. but i've stayed away from synthetics, until now.

i went to consign some clothes and these were a couple that were rejected. the woman at the store kept complimenting the dress and i told her--yes, i love it, but the colour just isn't me. the shape is very flattering and it's this really awesome pinup dress, but i just don't love the blue. she suggested i dye it. i told her it was hard to dye synthetics. she shrugged it off, but then i thought, what the hell. why not try it? if i was going to get rid of these clothes anyway, why not see if i can dye them?
 stuff i used:
1. blue dress (polyester/rayon/spandex) by pinup couture
2. pastel skirt (nylon) from urban outfitters
3. idye poly, black dye specifically for synthetic fabrics
4. idye black dye for fabrics
5. 3 gallon stock pot
6. (not pictured) 1 cup of salt and a good deal of water
 please forgive my messy kitchen. i kept that rag in the corner on hand in order to wipe up any spills. i also put it too close to the burner at one point and nearly burned my house down. please do not make this mistake.
i filled the pot most of the way with water and placed it on the heat, dissolved the dye packets and colour intensifier in it, per instructions, then pre-wet the skirt and the dress (so the dye water will saturate more easily) and added them to the pot.
 once the water was at a boil, i added a cup of non-iodized salt (again, per the instructions on the package... i have no idea what the salt did). i let the clothes boil for about an hour. it said that for even dye coverage it was preferable to agitate (stir, not annoy) the fabric constantly, but while i did want an even colour, i did not want to stand over a hot stove for an hour stirring until my arm fell off. 
 the packaging said to let the clothes cool down gradually, so i took the stock pot off the heat and placed it in my shower to cool down (i would have left it on the stove but i wanted to make dinner). yes the shower tiles are kind of pink--it turns that colour when i dye my hair. it's not permanent though! when the water had cooled (which actually took a pretty long time--about an hour and a half until i took them out to wash them) i rinsed them individually in the sink with laundry soap until the water ran clear. it is advised on the packaging to just run a wash cycle with the clothes, but i didn't have enough quarters for laundry, so i just did it by hand.
 here they are hanging out to dry. i'm really impressed at how they turned out! the colour is very black, and it looks pretty even to me. the stitching on the blue dress remained blue, which i thought was kind of odd, but i like it as it adds some interest to the dress. and now it's something i'm much more likely to wear!
 here are some awkward selfies of me in the dress. the skirt is still drying--the underskirt apparently holds water way too well--but i'll take some pictures of that as well once it is dry!


Shybiker said...

So happy to see you back online, mouse!!

It's creative to try things like this where you don't know how they'll turn out. Good work!

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