Thursday, February 12, 2009

Do... or Dye!

Sick of your clothes?
Or did you find the perfect blouse but it comes in only white or off-white?
Here's the answer.  
Don't pass them over.  Dye them!
A box of RIT Dye or Tintex Fabric Dye (available at most drug stores, grocery stores, or everything stores like Target), costs less than three dollars.  The only tricky thing is finding a large enough pot in which to dye your clothes without dying your kitchen at the same time!  Once you've tackled that obstacle, you will be surprised by the possibilities!
The dress pictured here (bought at a thrift store in Washington State) was a strange 80's bright blue that I knew I'd never wear.  After dying it in a vat of Wine colored Tintex (and adding a beaded belt high up on the natural waist), it became this amazing purple that had a wonderful sheen to it.  At the same time in the same batch, I dipped dingy slips that I've since worn to weddings, for performances, and as a raspberry sundress on a summer day.  Great tip:  Favorite used-to-be-white t-shirts can be salvaged and given a new life by dying them.
For the truly adventurous, try mixing and matching colors.  In general, it works like water colors and the color wheel:  blue and yellow make green, red and blue make purple, yellow and red make orange etc.  but it's definitely not an exact science, which I sort of love!
When it comes to dying, fabrics are like men.  If they're synthetic and fake (polyester and spandex) the love won't stick (color will be light and inconsistent).  Natural weaves (cotton, wool, nylon, silk, rayon), however, fall quickly and deeply and a tumble in high heat (the dryer) will set them forever.
Follow directions on the box and go ahead and choose a bunch of stuff in your house to dye at one time.  Why not see how color can spruce up your life... and for a mere three dollars?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Leenya, I really enjoy your blog, which I started reading thanks to the delightful Vale.

    Do you have Dylon in the US? It's easy to use: you simply put it in the washing machine with some salt. (Then put the machine through an empty wash cycle afterwards so that there's no dye left to ruin your next wash of crisp white shirts). Totally mess-free. There's even a decent dark denim shade to revamp exhausted jeans.


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