Dyeing Clothes

I had my first experience dyeing clothes for the Goodwill Good Style Fashion Show last night. It was much easier than I thought. I used Rit’s “Secrets for Successful Dyeing” and that made me much less apprehensive about dyeing something that will be going down a runway in two weeks. I had visions of it turning into a splotchy mess, but it actually turned out really well. Read how I did it after the jump!

When my sister, who is modeling this dress in the show, tried it on she said, “I look like Katniss”. That was when I knew that although the cut and fit of this dress were perfection, the color was a little jail bird. So I decided to dye it. I went with navy because I figured that would be the easiest transition for the light blue dress. I used the liquid dye and I found it really easy to work with. I used a large bin at Home Depot to do all of the dyeing in, but the bottle says you can also use your washing machine.

1. First I boiled about a gallon of water. Then I mixed the 1 gallon of boiling hot water with about a gallon of hot tap water and mixed in half the bottle of dye. The instructions say to mix 3 gallons of hot water with half the bottle for every 1 pound of clothes you have. The guide recommends weighing the clothes with a food scale, but I just estimated.

2. I put the dress in the mixture, and let it soak for a half an hour. That is the minimum time listed on the bottle. The maximum is 1 hour. I wanted to make sure the dress didn’t look too dark navy so I went with the shorter time period. Looking back I could have let it soak longer as some of the color faded after the first wash. And clothes always look like a darker color when wet. The bottle also recommend stirring constantly, but ain’t nobody got time for that! So I stirred it about every five minutes or so.

3. Rinse. Make sure you wear gloves because the dye will come off on your hands. This last part was hard for me because there was so much fabric. The instructions say to rinse until the water runs clear. Well it seemed like that was never going to happen. I started to get super impatient and just threw it in the washing machine with detergent and washed it in hot water. The dress is now a darker blue, and I am very happy with the results!

Have you ever dyed your own clothes before? Share your tips in the comments! Come see the final product at the Goodwill Good Style Fashion Show May 9 at Windows on the River in Cleveland. Buy your tickets here.

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