4.15.2012

Dorm Room DIY: Fabric Dye

(Before)
(After)

     Today I wanted to share with you guys one of the most inexpensive, fun ways to shake up your wardrobe. It's not exactly ground breaking, but I wasn't exactly sure how the results would turn out. I'm pretty proud to say that I pulled this off all in the laundry room in my residence hall. My hall rules might not be as strict as some, but I certainly hope that some other students are inspired to attempt something similar right on their own campuses. 

Dress instructions-
     Materials needed: a dress/item with suitable fabric (nothing one hundred percent polyester or acrylic- cotton or blended fabrics work the best), washing machine, big sink, and fabric dye in the color of your choice (I used RIT), plastic disposable gloves, something to stir the fabric with
     Instructions (for washing machine):
            1. Run the washing machine on hot until it is full of hot water.
            2. Put the appropriate amount of dye for the garment in the water. I used half a bottle, but the ratio is on the instructions for the fabric dye. This part is really up to you, just keep in mind the basic principle of more dye, deeper color.
            3. Submerge the entire garment into the dye+water mix. Make sure to stir it a few times before starting the wash cycle.
            4. Turn the washer back on, ensuring that the wash cycle is at least 30 minutes. You can let it go through all the steps because this really helps with rinsing out the dye at the end.
            5. Take the garment out of the washer and rinse it under cool water until any water coming out of the garment is clear.
            6. Run the garment through a regular wash cycle with detergent. Then, run an empty load (I put an old towel in just to make sure) with detergent to clean the washing machine.
            7. Hang up or put a dryer to dry!


Dip dye tee shirt instructions-
     Materials needed: white cotton tee shirt (I used a Hanes boys' undershirt), fabric dye of your choice, washing machine, big sink, hanger
     Instructions:
            1. First of all, my method for dip dying was a bit unorthodox. I used the same process as the dress to start (fill up the washer with hot water, add dye). 
            2. Then, I only submerged about half of the shirt the first time. I wanted an ombre effect, so I only allowed it to soak in there for a few seconds. The sleeve ended up being slightly submerged, but I don't mind.
           3. Put the bottom of the tee shirt into the mix and let the washer run the full cycle. I let the top part that I wanted to stay white hang out of the lid of the washing machine.
           4. Rinse out the shirt until the water is clear. The method of dip dying will leave the shirt with a very messy effect instead of three very obvious stripes. Mine ended up looking kind of like a mountain range, hard to see in the pictures. 
           5. Throw the shirt in the dryer just long enough to get out any wrinkles/make the shirt damp. This should prevent most of the shrinking.
           6. Hang up the shirt to dry!

      Troubleshooting: 
            1. Although I didn't wash the shirt a second time (and for ombre shirts I don't suggest doing so), I still made sure to run the load with just my towel in order to clean out the machine.

3 comments:

WearAbouts said...

I looove the dress! it looks so good! I'm not in college so it might be easier for me to do this since I'm at home (though I don't know what my mother'll say...) Anyways, cheers for a great DIY! Thanks for sharing :)
Rory
www.WearAboutsBlog.com

Ronida said...

wow!that's a lovely thing to do in that dress. it sure made it even prettier. the blue gave it "life"

~Ronida
funandruins.blogspot.com

tam cruise said...

I don't understand, so you dipped it three different times? Ahh, it's so cool, but I don't know how to achieve that same look.

So you dyed just the bottom half of the tee, then rinsed and let it dry, then dipped it again, but only a portion of the already dyed? and then a third time?
is that right, or am i completely off?

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