Monday, 14 November 2011

My First Attempt at Fabric Dyeing

I had a plan to make a copy of a certain Modcloth dress which I have been coveting for ages but just could not find the right fabric.  I then stumbled across what I thought would be perfect to match a border print I have found.  (I am being deliberately vague as this dress will appear in another post once I have gathered all materials.)  I thought I had fund the perfect thing, I was looking for a beige based fabric, sort of the colour of foundation to match the border print and I found a lovely cotton sateen on ebay for a bargain price.
Apricot cotton sateen
I took the gamble and this turned up.  It was a lot darker than I expected but I thought why not try it?  I put it next to my border and yuk it looked awful.  The border has yellows, reds and the foundation colour but this didn't go with any of them.  Worst of all it totally clashed with the red piping I wanted to use and I knew if I made it up I wouldn't want to wear it as it just wasn't a colour I would choose.  So back to the drawing board on finding my fabric choice.  I am thinking I am going to go a completely different way and get some lemony yellow instead as it ties in with the red better.

So then what to do with the apricot fabric?  As I decided not to use it for this project I didn't think I liked the colour enough to use it for something else.  I don't want to waste it so why not try dyeing it?  I won some Dylon dyes a while ago but I didn't have enough of a single colour so I picked some up from Wilkinsons.  Isn't that weird that they sell it there? 

I have had a plan for a Christmas party dress in my mind for a bit and thought if I could dye it a usable colour then it could become this.  The fabric did have some sort of treatment as it was slightly shiny and is fairly dark so I didn't think it would dye completely solid but hoped it would have some effect.

I had read about the pre-dye that Dylon has and thought that would be a good idea to try and strip the colour so here it is after following the instructions on the packet.
After pre-dye
It does looks significantly lighter in the photos, a little less so in real life but it didn't remove all the colour.  This made me think that the dye may not work as well as hoped but this was all pretty much an experiment anyway.  It also removed the treatment and was no longer shiny on one side so that is good. 

After Intense Violet
The dye I used was Intense Violet which is really very purple and did leave a bit of staining on the rubber of my washing machine so be careful of that.  You add salt too (not sure what this does) and I again followed the instructions.  It is not violet but is a really nice pinky-burgandy colour and much more wearable than the original.  One thing that happened was that the edges took the dye better than the rest so I have a ombre style finish.  I quite like this and would love to incorporate it into my outfit but as of yet I am not sure how.  I am pleased that the fabric is now more usable but if I did it again I would use a 100% cotton to get the full colour effect and be more aware that cotton mixtures don't take as well. 

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