The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
I noticed that my blog posts on dying clothes are popular.
I often get anxious comments about my dyed clothes and how to use this technique.
“When I dyed something it was streaky.”
When I use a washing machine dye there are a number of key things to remember.
Top Tip 1
Prevent patchy or streaky dying by making sure you dye damp fabric. If the fabric is damp when the dye hits it then it’s going to be more consistent. If fabric is dry then the fabric may access the dye in patches.
When I dyed something it all washed out the next time.
Top Tip 2
You need half a kilo of salt to ‘fix’ the dye. This is added to the drum of the machine on top of the dye at the beginning.
I’m worried the washing machine will be stained by the dye.
Top Tip 3
Always run another wash straight after the dye wash. The manufacturer recommends you put the dyed clothes through a normal wash straight away.
( I don’t necessarily (very bad) but I DO run another wash of dark clothes straight afterwards.) The one time I didn’t, the rubber seal became marked but it wasn’t a major thing.
To illustrate my point here’s today’s dye project.
I had a pink corduroy skirt that I like the style of but the colour doesn’t work with many other clothes I own. Plus I’m not buying new clothes any more so I need to work with what I have.
I’ve been getting into dark grey. So I bought an antique grey dye. Rather than only dying one item I had a vest that had suffered from something red in a wash, a mustard top that a friend didn’t want and a white top with nice detail that needed a new colour.
I’d also found some underwear that was pale pink or white and never worn. The combined weight of these garments was good.
Top Tip 4
The dry weight of the fabric is important. If you dye too much fabric you will have a paler result. If you want a paler colour then that’s fine. If you need to dye something that weighs more consider using two packs of dye. You still only need 500g of salt.
Top Tip 5
Use normal domestic salt. It’s only 20 cents a kg. ‘special’ dying salt costs a euro or more per 500g.
What if it doesn’t work?
Top Tip 6
Always read the label. The best fabric to dye is 100% cotton or linen or viscose. Blends of different fabrics will take some colour but synthetics don’t normally change.
Top Tip 7
If a garment already has a colour of its own your result will be a combination of the dye with that colour. It may be a surprise how it turns out. Patterns can also create some weird results.
Top Tip 8
Read the instructions!
So the machine has run it’s course and other washing is now in.
The dryer on the balcony and the gleaming sun have done their bit.
The results are in.
I’m really pleased with the skirt and shirt. The skirt had an embroidered pattern on it that now shows up in a brocade way. Thread with dye is often not cotton. So it doesn’t take colour.
This can create different affects. The buttons on the shirt are now a contrast too.
The underwear is now wearable. Dark grey with trendy pink edging.
The other two tops are different. The ginger one is now a khaki colour with contrast ginger button.
When I dyed that coat I was nervous because it had a special finish. But as a clever Refashionista suggested:
if you won’t wear it as it is, what do you have to lose?
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...