When We Dyed

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To continue with our theme of reporting on the T-Shirt Reconstruction/Craft Party, I want to share with you a few thoughts on our two fabric dying experiments: one intentional…and one big accident.

Let’s start with our successes first. As Jess mentioned on Saturday, our inspiration for this party grew from our friend Erin’s desire to save her beloved (but stained) shirt from being discarded. Jess found some fabric dye to use with the goal being to make the stain go away. Once other party goers knew what was going to happen, most contributed one piece of old or just plain white shirts to add in to the mix.

We used iDye, which you just add to up to two pounds fabrics and some salt in a washing machine. The specific packet we used was good for natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and rayon. (They do, however, offer a line of eight colors for polyester and nylon.) I was slightly skeptical of how it would fare in the machine and if the next few loads of laundry would turn out blue, but all was clean and easy and very different from the messy buckets of color from the tie-dye parties of my childhood!

As you can see above, though we used iDye’s Royal Blue, our batch came out as a bright blue color. This may be due to the fact that I wasn’t quick enough in reseting the washer before it started rinsing after one cycle; the packet instructs you to keep the fabrics with the dye for as long as you can. Most of the fabrics took to the dye easily, and, yes, Erin’s shirt has been saved! Unfortunatly for me, the shirt I added must have been secretly stained in a couple of places, because the dye didn’t soak in evenly and looks a bit splotchy.

On to the unintentional dyeing. As you may have seen, I was smitten with Anthropologie’s painted design of its Collector’s Cardigan in my pre-party post a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to try this approach, so we picked up some fabric paint and I set to work on a favorite shirt of mine that was recently stained. Unfortunately, the fabric paint was actually fabric dye. I think it’s to paint on silk scarves or something to that effect. That would definitely be a cool project, but my shirt ended up looking like this:

What a bloody mess! At least it was good to wear while handing out candy to Trick-or-Treaters, right?



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