Friday, August 7, 2009

Dye Another Day

Remember this dress from several months ago? Back then it was a drab oatmeal color and a size too big. Since then I've had it altered to fit me and dyed it a fun shade of green, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. It has much more of a mod trenchcoat feel to it now, which I tried to play up here by adding the vintage 60's shirt.

The dyeing process was a lot of work, but well worth it for the excellent results. The dye I used was a fiber reactive dye from the Dharma Trading Company. The dye only works on natural fibers, so it colored the linen fabric beautifully while leaving the off-white topstitching, plastic buttons, and nylon lining intact (as a bonus, it didn't stain the sink either). This gives it a very professional appearance; in fact, you'd be hard pressed to discern that it wasn't made this way originally. Click the picture at left if you want a close up of my handiwork -- the pop-up photos are all zoom-able too.

Before I started this project I knew literally nothing about dyeing clothes. For instance, I was completely ignorant of the fact that there were several other supplies I needed besides just the dye (shame on me for not reading the directions before I ordered the dye!). Thus, I ended up having to place 2 orders, one for the dye and one for the soda ash, Calsolene oil, and a few other things. However, now I've got all the stuff I need to do lots more dyeing, so with the exception of different colors I'm all set for whatever other projects I want to try. I'm thinking this will be a great way to transform pieces that either are a light color and getting dingy, or that I'm just tired of. Just as a simple coat of paint can completely transform a room, a different color can make old clothing new again.

Shirt, dress: thrifted
Boots: Bata
Brooch: vintage Trifari

8 comments:

Kat Gregory said...

Stunning work. The dress looks much more mod now that you have dyed it a funky shade of green.

daddylikeyblog said...

Oh my gosh, I LOVE how you layered it here! Gorgeous, daaaahhhling!

poet said...

I just found your blog. I love the idea of it, and my blog was actually started for a similar reason (I'm a grad student. Nobody cares what I wear, and I shouldn be doing research instead of all those arts and crafting things I'm doing... Duh.) ... Also, your style is very inspiring!

Greetings,
poet

Eyeliah SS said...

Great revitalization, it's a million times better now.

Jen said...

I love the dress- it looks really good with the dye job! I do have a question- Did you buy your boots from bata in the United States?

Audi said...

Jen: No, I got these in Prague a few years ago. I didn't realize Bata was available over here!

Karen said...

Wow! I do remember that dress! It's got a whole new life!

Do you think the dye process would work on a super light pink cashmere sweater I have? I thought I could just buy some RIT and be done with it, but you make it sound more technical. You're a hat maker, and well, I'm a homemaker so don't know if I can do it!

Audi said...

Karen: I think I'm way too much of a dyeing novice to answer that question. You should definitely do some research before you give it a try with cashmere. But since it's a natural fiber, I don't see why it wouldn't work.