Thursday, September 15, 2016

Adventures in Dyeing

I spelled that right,

Because I'm dyeing,
not dying. ;D

I had some fabric I wanted to experiment on,
and some old denim that could use some "freshening up".

(Kerry always liked it when my Nana would ask,
"Can I freshen up your drink?"
meaning, can I give you some more coffee/tea/etc.)

The denim didn't need a beverage.
It was faded.

Moving right along...

I ordered some indigo dye.

Oh my.

If you do this,
do it outside.
Because it really REALLY stinks.

Who knew?

And read all the instructions.
It was good to know ahead that the dye would look greenish yellow.
You can't tell very well from the photo (above),
but if you look in the lower right corner you can kind of see it.

We also experimented with a white t-shirt my brother handed down to Gunnar.
And I'm really glad I had read through the tips or I might've freaked out
to see it emerge from the dye...

bright neon green!

It's a reactive dye.

When exposed to oxygen it not-so-slowly
turns bluer...

and bluer...

and bluer.

I like how the collar still looks green,
because the dye was dripping down,
so it took longer to oxidize at the bottom.

(It did all turn blue eventually.)

The key to making things darker is not letting them soak longer,
but letting them dry and then re-dipping them,
and repeating the oxidization process.

My old faded shorts and crop jeans came out a great shade of indigo :D
A light blue cardigan I rarely wore looks a lot better.
And Gunnar's white thermal shirt and t-shirt are deep blue,
(and more likely to be worn.)

And my white and green fabric?
I had hoped the green would turn more turquoise,
but I think the green-dyed fabric didn't "accept" the blue very much.
Still, I like it!

Of course, it all looked so vivid on the line,
freshly dyed.

And after going through the wash?

Yah, it faded some.  The color isn't as deep.

But what can I say?
I love blue.
Almost any blue!

And I only used half the chemicals that came in the dye kit,
so we can do it all again later :D


Monica said...

Wow! What a process! No, don't think I will be dyeing anything in the near future. You are so brave! :)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Thanks Monica, but it was kind of a "no-lose" proposition. Most of the things I dyed were older and faded. The only thing new was the piece of fabric. Really, all it took was a few dollars for the kit, a sunny/breezy afternoon, and a little time :D

I'm always curious, though, how home-dyed things will hold up with repeated washings, so we'll see!