The PinTRIED Series highlights our trials and triumphs with finds from the wonderful world of Pinterest. And the emphasis is on “tried”. There may be successes along the way, in addition to some laughable failures. As we’ve learned from the hilarious site, CakeWrecks, some things are better left to the professionals. In this PinTRIED episode, we take on home clothes dyeing, emboldened by the detailed tutorials proudly touted on the pages of the Pinterest pros. Here’s how things turned up and out:
I am admittedly a bit of a klutz and my spills are generally of the wine kind. I have a number of fancy gowns and am generally pretty good about keeping them clean, but about halfway through an awards dinner in 2014, I missed my mouth and about a tablespoon of temperanillo landed on the white portion of this beautiful Badgley Mischka. I immediately drenched the stain in seltzer leaving a rose stain in its wake. I covered the spot and my shame for the rest of the night with a well-placed name tag. First thing the next morning, I headed straight to the cleaners with the highest of hopes.
I was not met with the same enthusiasm. Immediately, my cleaner attempted to bring me back to reality. I should have listened to him and saved that $20. As you can see, despite my dry cleaner’s best (three) efforts, the wine stain would only lift to a faint brown reminder of a great night. But I wasn’t about to let an evening gown go to waste and I set my mind to think about how to salvage the dress. I went as far as considering spot treating the stain with bleach, until I came to my senses and turned to Pinterest for ideas. I stumbled upon this tutorial on dying clothes and decided that my tuxedo gown would go black tie.
My decision to dye the gown’s bodice from black to white was not without risk. I had absolutely no experience with dyeing and traditional home dyes were not recommended for the fabric (poly). But with an ugly stain keeping me from wearing the dress at all, I decided I had nothing to lose.
I picked up two packets of Rit All-Purpose Powder Dye in Black and prepped my kitchen for the experiment. On call were a large pot filled three-quarters of the way with water and a cup of white vinegar. I set it to boil adding the powdered before the bubbles came.
As recommended, I rinsed the bodice with warm water and then submerged the dress into the now-boiling dye concoction, being careful not to get too much of the sequin covered skirt in the pot. A melted plastic waistband would not be so attractive. Bizehubs actually ended up helping me jigger up the dress and attach it to the cabinet so I didn’t have to suspend the dress myself for the 30+ minute process. Note to self: must build up arm strength (I don’t even blow-dry my own hair).
I was amazed at how quickly the garment appeared to be taking the color. The white fabric immediately turned dark in what looked like a witch’s cauldron by this point. I stirred and stirred (and may have recited a spell or two) for over 30 minutes until I
got bored thought the fabric had reached its ultimate darkness. I used tongs to remove the dress from the boiling water and ran hot then warm then cold water over the fabric until it ran clear(ish).
Surprisingly, the color was even and darkly rich and vibrant. It looked completely natural. I hung the dress upside down with an old towel underneath to allow the bodice to continue to drip dry. I reused the boiling dye mixture to color a few more items, including a white cotton tee, a pair of grey sweatpants, and a brand new maroon LOFT dress, which had developed huge oily-looking spots after the first wash. Yes, FIRST wash. Interestingly enough, the cotton tee took the color the least well. The dress and sweatpants, which were originally darker, are now a lovely dark hue, while the tee is just medium gray.
At least my PinTRIED was not a PinFAIL. The next morning my gown had dried to its final shade. I am obsessed with the results! There is no evidence of the stain and the black dye took so evenly and beautifully. None of my sequins were damaged during the process and the fabric appears to have held up extremely well. For a lot less than $10 and an hour’s worth of work, I have a brand new gown. I cannot wait to wear it!
One thing I will note is that all of the tutorials cautioned wearing dishwashing or other plastic gloves. Well I generally thumb my nose at tradition and that day and this PinTRIED were no different. The result:
What do you think about this PinTried? Have you ever dyed any article of clothing? What were you results like?
Please share your success (or horror) stories, plus tips, in the comments.
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