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Topic: Failed Dye Job-but maybe I should keep it?  (Read 6648 times)
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Sarah_
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« on: June 23, 2009 01:45:33 AM »

So I tried and failed to dye a bunch of things black. Three of the things look exactly the same as they did before except sort of dirty, but the other two underwent interesting changes.
A white button up blouse I bought turned this weird periwinkle color:



and a bright orange-ish red sweater turned this maroon color:



(The buttons are the original color of the sweater).

I wear almost exclusively black, but I found these colors rather interesting.

What say you? Should I redye them and hope for black or should I leave them be?
PS what'd I do wrong? I used Rit if that helps, in a bucket and I stirred the whole thing with my hands for an hour. You do not want to know what they look like right now.

Thanks in advance.
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2009 02:37:19 AM »

i think you should leave them be.... i like them a lot and the sweater is my favorite Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009 04:33:33 AM »

i like them the colors they came out... but you need to set them with heat (water+microwave?) if you didn't already cook them with the dye.  also vinagre and salt, i think, but you should look it up.

tons of infos here: http://www.dharmatrading.com/info/


also i wonder if the ones that just came out dirty looking were maybe the wrong fabric content for your dye.  i've seen that happen with items that were half or more content of acrylic or polyester.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009 04:35:22 AM by nataluna » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009 07:00:21 AM »

While I know nothing about dyeing my own clothes, I get the "only wear black" thing too.  Something about black is ...comfortable.  Still, I'd say keep them.  Grey is like a kind of black, right?  I think I prefer the shirt like this than how I picture it before, really.  I'm not very into cardigans or sweaters or whatever (too hot..) but again, I think you improved it!  Maroon looks exceptionally good with black too.

Nice job!
-Cristy
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2009 07:52:49 AM »

Hey!
I think you should definately keep them, the colours are really interesting, good work!  Wink
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2009 08:13:28 AM »

It's all about the fiber content.
We had a crayon go through the dryer once and ruin a whole load of clothes.  So I decided that they couldn't get much worse, and tried to dye them all black.  I used about three packages of Rit in the washer.  I had the same type of results as you.  None of them really turned out black, though.
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2009 08:38:20 AM »

one thing I know from my days tie-dying with kids at summer camps is this...soda ash when added to the mixture always always always helps the dye set better and last longer, creates more vibrant colors.

Rit Dye is tough, I have never had it come out really as nice as others.


that said, I like the shirt...still dark but different, not something you see everywhere  and I really like the way the buttons pop on the cardigan.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009 08:39:40 AM by NH822 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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littlemuffler
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2009 09:20:05 AM »

i saw keep them!
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2009 10:40:46 AM »

It's mainly about your fabric content- natural fibers take dye better than synthetics.

Also, something that has already been dyed won't take a dye in the same way as something that has been dyed previously. IE: you won't get a red shirt to turn black.

Black is the worst color to try to dye, though. You really can't get anything to turn completely black. Mostly it will turn out looking dark grey, if you're lucky.

Heating the dye up helps, also.

I don't do much dying myself, but what I do know I've learned from the lady who runs the costume shop at my university. She dyes a lot of costumes to get them to be the colors she wants, and it's not easy to do. She told me not to bother with black, so at least you know it's not your fault.
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2009 11:19:17 AM »

Thanks for all the help, guys. I guess I'll stick to making black things blacker and leave these alone.
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2009 11:28:39 AM »

Like a couple people have said, fiber content is a big deciding factor in how your colors come out, but equally important is the kind of dye you use. Black is hard to dye with any dye, but RIT especially because of the type of dye it is. Most of the time, to get good results with RIT you need to keep the dye bath at a very high temperature, hotter than tap water but not quite boiling. Soda ash doesn't help set this type of dye either and the dyed items are not colorfast.
I really like the colors you got though!
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2009 12:59:13 PM »

Thanks very much! I would have used a different dye but it was the only one in Michael's and I had to pee.
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2009 01:08:13 PM »

Soda ash doesn't help set this type of dye either and the dyed items are not colorfast.

but you can make the colorfastness issue "less worse" by vinegar and salt ... i think after a couple hundred washes my old rit-dyed clothes had all the residual dye pretty much out of them ... but yeah it really takes a while, even with mordants...
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2009 02:55:52 PM »

no no no!! keep these colors! I think they turned out great!   ^_^
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2009 03:42:24 PM »

Thank you!
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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2009 01:24:04 AM »

I love these colors. I have done this with rit dye before too. I got some dye from walmart that was in the craft department that i haven't tried yet but it looked promising. Also I know with hair dye black either has a red base or a blue base and the blue base is always darker and takes to my hair better. Maybe it is the same with all dyes?
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« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2009 03:37:31 AM »

I absolutely love the cardigan! It's a lovely colour, and the buttons look great.
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« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2009 09:23:31 AM »

I talked to a guy one time who tie-dyes T-shirts, and his colors are always really bright and intense. He said he uses twice the amount of dye for all the colors, and then red and black he uses three and four times the amount - although I can't remember which was three and which was four. I'd recommend trying four packets since you can't really get something dyed too black Wink and see where that gets you.

Also, this link has specific measurements on the vinegar and salt method of setting dye:
http://www.ehow.com/how_2068286_set-dye.html
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2009 09:30:21 AM »

Also, to echo some of the other posts, I'd keep the shirt - it might grow on you. Sometimes failed crafts are complete failures, and some are serendipitous - happy accidents! Of course, you can always share it on the Craft Fail blog...the site is strangely addicting!
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But we have flamethrowers. And what this indicates to me, it means that at some point, some person said to himself, "Gee, I sure would like to set those people on fire over there. But I'm way too far away to get the job done. If only I had something that would throw flame on them."
ecuadoriana
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2009 11:20:56 AM »


Leave them! The periwinkle shirt is adorable & I love the maroon sweater, but try black buttons instead (I'm not feeling the pinky looking ones!).

I used to try to dye clothes black and in the end it turned out that the weird colors were actually way cooler looking than if they had come out solid black!! Then I started batiking the clothes first and then dying them black & they looked fabulous- like all antique looking.

Sometimes the mistakes have the better results!
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PIXIEskin
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2009 12:24:12 PM »

I love them as they are, they look great Cheesy
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« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2009 02:21:42 PM »

When I studied Physics in high school, they taught a colour/light section. Most black dye is not a "true black" and black is one of the hardest dye to create. Maybe next time, try using the opposite colour of the item. Usually when two colours of the opposite spectrum are added, black is created. (works best with paint)

So for a red shirt, try a pack of dark green plus black.

Also, fiber content is important. Organic fibres dye easier. Plus very hot water.

I should know, once I was given 2 dozen queen sheets. Anytime, I needed backing for a quilt, I'd pick up some dye packs from the dollar store and not care what colour was created. Mostly tie-dyed.  Smiley
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ambersteele
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2009 08:26:13 PM »

You do not want to know what they look like right now.

Yeah, I do!  Grin
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« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2009 06:39:07 AM »

I wear a lot of black myself, but those colors you ended up with are really interesting and they'll look really great with black. Sometimes it's nice to have just a small pop of a different color to make outfits look a little more interesting.  I'm sorry if this is old news (in a rush this morning and couldn't read the whole thread) but Rit dye typically doesn't do the best job dying things so perhaps going to Dharmatradingcompany.com and getting some of their lovely dies would help. Also, some fabrics dye better than others. Polyester doesn't dye too well, cotton is great for dying. A mix of the two would dye but it wouldn't be as intense as something that was just cotton.
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« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2009 09:36:14 AM »

When I studied Physics in high school, they taught a colour/light section. Most black dye is not a "true black" and black is one of the hardest dye to create. Maybe next time, try using the opposite colour of the item. Usually when two colours of the opposite spectrum are added, black is created. (works best with paint)

So for a red shirt, try a pack of dark green plus black.]

Actually colors opposite on the color wheel create neutral grey but you may be right about it getting you closer with the black dye.

Tomico
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mojo_hannah
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2009 07:26:25 AM »

oh my god KEEP IT that color is gorgeous!! It looks great with black and it's not soo neon a color. Oh pleeeease keep this!
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« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2009 01:25:27 PM »

I like the colors!  But in the future if you really want something black, here are some suggestions from my experience-

RIT dye is kind of limited.  I love Dharma's Procion Fiber Reactive dye, because I feel you get stronger colors (and its good for rayon, cotton and other natural fibers) but they have many other dyes for other fabrics like nylon, etc.  Use at least 3 times as much dye as needed to get a strong color.  The way that's worked best for me is boiling water in an old pot and adding soda ash and letting the garment soak awhile, then moving it to another boiling pot of dye.  I let it simmer for awhile and check progress.  Dharma also sells dye fixative that you add to a wash to make it more permanent, which I love.  I don't make any promises though...I've done all the right things and had fabrics come out all wrong.  Sometimes I guess it's just not meant to be!
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dawnofdolls
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2009 08:16:14 AM »

Funny... my boyfriend and I are traveling to MN this weekend for a wedding, and I was looking EVERYWHERE for a little black dress.  It was a nightmare.  I kept finding all of the right styles, but in the wrong (wayyyyy wrong) colors.  Undecided I was so frustrated that I was considering just buying one and dying it black... kind of glad I didn't now.  I wonder how you get a perfect black.  Luckily, I ended up finding one... but I am still curious on this.   Huh
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serafim_azriel
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2009 01:52:15 AM »

I don't know if someone has said this already or not, but if you were trying to dye them black, part of the problem might be the fact that you're using RIT dye. RIT dye is great for most colors, but it's black is lack-luster, even on 100% cotton, much less a blended fabric.

Seabass recommended the best dye. "Dharma's Procion Fiber Reactive dye". ESPECIALLY for black. There is also a polyester dye that I've yet to test called "iDye for Natural and Poly Fabrics". If your fabric is mostly or all polyester, that will be your best bet, as most Dyes won't dye synthetic fabrics.

(On a side note of dying, with certain kinds of blends, dyeing it may leave you with an interested visible weave/knit for the clothing.)
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madworldmilly
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2009 05:43:45 AM »

keep them,
they look totally rad!
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pyrobaby
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2009 08:41:43 AM »

Sorry to bump but just got done dyeing a blazer and some pants bright purple myself  Grin I don't know much about black, but considering how many little old ladies here in Japan run around with purple hair from dye fading I can believe it'd be hard to use!

I don't have a pot big enough that I would feel ok cooking dye in (maybe it's safe after you wash it but any soup I ever make again would taste funny to me psychosomatically), and washers here don't have hot water, so my first few attempts at dyeing clothes really bombed. Sad This is what has worked for me:

I use a heavy-duty plastic bucket. First I boil a pot of water and mix the dye (more than it asks for on the instructions) and some salt, stir it (I use the handle of my toilet plunger LOL), put in the fabric (already wet), stir it a bit, and then I use a cold-water setting powder I found in my craft store. The company is called "Best Color," but I'm sure there are other brands that make something similar. It claims to make color take better without heat. So I dump that in and stir it all up, then take the bucket to the shower and put in the rest of the water, put another smaller bucket over it to push everything down into the dye, and come back and stir it every now and then. I leave the clothes in there a LOT longer than the package says just to be sure - if it says 30 mins I'll do an hour or more.

Also, I tend to never try and dye anything any color other than a darker/brighter shade of what it already was, unless it's something really light & neutral like white or beige. Scared of what would come out  Tongue
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koffeewitch
« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2009 11:32:47 AM »

I like the colors, too.  I think if you found some cool buttons for the maroon one to make it a little more "edgey" it could really look great.
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