Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dyeing for Change

I’d like to introduce you to one of my favourite kitchen appliances. Besides my amazing espresso machine that is!

It is a huge big aluminium pot. Unfortunately it has never been the bearer of a Spicy Briyani or Aromatic Curry. But... it has helped me to brew up all sorts of colourful concoctions. Half of my wardrobe has had it’s colour enhanced.
It started with some tired white shirts and a new direction on my wardrobe's life, when my friend, image consultant Fay Coleman convinced me that I had been wearing the wrong colours for my skin tone. I could not buy an entirely new set of clothes overnight - so I quickly learnt to dye the ones I had. Now I'm hooked!
Let me tell you how I do it! Remember that Natural Fabrics take up colour best and are the easiest to dye.
Firstly, I fill my pot with boiling water and add the hot water dye and salt.

Then I place the wet items in the pot. I use my pasta spoon to gently grip the clothing as I turn and stir.
I always make sure that there is plenty of water in the pot so that the items are able to move freely. The fabric must be stirred almost continuously for about 20 mins. Don't allow to stand in the pot, because it will dye unevenly. It really is worth setting the time aside.

Then I remove the clothing from the pot, rinse and wash at a slightly hotter temperature than I normally use. This helps to ensure that other garments are not stained by the newly dyed item in the wash!
It's addictive! Once you start - you can't stop!


Estelle said...

You really are the most amazing, active, busy person I know.
Whenever I dye, I do it in a hurry and then the results are not what they should be.

I am glad that you are not using your aluminium pot for cooking - given what I now know about heavy metals, dyeing is all it's good for (-:

Having seen you a few times this year, I can vouch that the colours you are using are right for you!!!
You always look as elegant and colour-coded as your Christmas tree - dressed with care!

Carolina Eclectic said...

What a fantastic idea? My mind is racing with possibilities. What type of dye do you use?

Freshly Found said...

Estelle - Thanks! And yes I just could not cook in aluminium!

Carolina - I use Dylon Hot Water Dye!
I told you it was addictive. I have attempted to dye all sorts of things - including tapestries, a raincoat, jeans, bedspreads, and I even dyed some paper! It is very difficult to dye big stuff evenly - the vintage candlewick bedspread, which I hoped would become a deep red throw turned out a blothcy orangy red. But I might cut it up and re-dye smaller pieces!
Guest towels turned out beautifully!

Jesse said...

Yes, dying clothes is so addictive! I love the surprises you get when dying patterned things - not to mention how nylon buttons sometimes react :)

Susy said...

This is so inspiring! I have never, ever thought of dying over an existing item of clothing...I really love the way those weaves and patterns look with the new color. I tend to wear too much black...this has me thinking that ought to change. : )

ps. thank you for the nice comment on my blog. And happy holidays!