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Topic: questions about using Rit dye  (Read 3967 times)
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« on: September 08, 2005 07:05:22 PM »

Ok, so I tried the techniques in the thread about getting a vintage look, on some shirts I got that are just too bright (think soccer mom) but were soooo cheap.  I plan to put transfers on them.

After over 24 hours of soaking them in the bleach/rock salt mixture, I was getting no results whatsoever, so I decided to put some more bleach in.  They lightened exactly the way I wanted them to, with one big problem:

Some parts of the shirts had bubbled up over the water and now all 3 shirts are dyed unevenly and look almost tye-dyed (not my style, not even close).

Ok, so, I knew this was largely experimental so I'm not that freaked over it, however, I'd like to get a more even color over the shirts.  I went to the store and bought 3 kinds of Rit dye.  One is the same color as one of the shirts was originally (rose pink), one is a darker version of another shirt (was a med. baby blue, this is more like a dusty blue dye), and one is tan, which i am HOPING I can use to give all 3 shirts a bit of a coffee/tea stained look.. just more aged.

Any body have any advice/suggestions for me?  I have never ever used Rit dye before.  Is it possible that the dye will sort of fill in the spots that the bleach left, or is it just going to turn all of it darker but still spotty?  I hope this makes sense.

And has anyone used the tan or another brown dye to age clothing a bit, and was it successful?

Blah blah.. just looking for a bit of advice from anyone who's attempted anything like this.  Will post my results when finished.
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2005 08:28:06 PM »

they'll probably be splotchy.

RIT makes a color remover, it isn't as damaging to the fabric as regular bleach.  When dying or removing color you can't just walk away from it, you need to hover, poke and stir.


Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. - Will Durant
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2005 10:10:46 PM »

Put. The. RIT. Down. Runawayquickly!!!!

I have a thing about RIT.  It's a mixed dye and I dislike it intensely, since the basic dye wil bleed for ever and ever and ever to the power of ten. The only thing that helps is a product called retayne or raycafix. They (Rit henchmen) insist they are using a new formula, so if you got the newer stuff, well maybe what they say is true and it will work. I find using Dylon Dyes (even the mixed dyes!) to work much better for someone who is not a dye-hard (sorry couldn't resist) but does want something that will not bleed and fade so much.
The colour remover RIT makes is thiourea dioxide, which may or may not work. It may be that they were dyed originally with a hard to remove procion colour. However, it can't hurt to try the thourea dioxide. If you leave them as is, they will dye unevenly.
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2005 06:37:42 AM »

I actually love RIT dye. I mixed up a million colors once and did spiral tye-dyes with them and got amazing results that haven't faded in two years (and they're my work-out shirts, so they get sweated on and washed a LOT).

But anyway, I think your shirts will come out splotchy, like someone said above. I've never used RIT dye remover, but since your shirts are pretty experimental anyway, why not just go for it? That way you'll know what works and what doesn't for the next time you try this. Since the shirts came out kinda screwy anyway, you have nothing to lose. :-)
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2005 08:06:04 AM »

Dye remover/color remover I think is really nasty stuff, plus since you already bleached the shirt I am not sure how well it would work, how it would react the more bleached and less bleached parts.

Goodbye Tucson! I will miss how everything dried so quickly!
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2005 08:22:32 AM »

i agree that the dye will make the bleached shirts splotchy. 

about the brown dye/aging thing.  i've used tea and coffee for this.  just make a very strong pot of tea/coffee and submerge the clothing in that and leave in for at least half an hour, longer=darker.  it will stain the clothes and give it that aged/dirty look.  if you have a problem with the clothes surfacing, try using a large container with a lid and fill it to the very top so no air gets in.

« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2005 05:44:34 AM »

since you already bleached the shirt I am not sure how well it would work, how it would react the more bleached and less bleached parts.

One would have to go white, that is, remove all colour. Thiourea dioxide generally has to be heated when being used as a colour remover (in which case do not use the pots you use for this for food again). It has a bit of an icky smell if I recall (it's been awhile since I used it for anything other than indigo) and should be used where there is good ventilation. As with all dyes and chemicals one should be careful.
I seem to remember it is not the ideal reducing agent for some fibres-best for wool I think.
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2005 10:07:09 PM »

Ok, so far this has worked REALLY well, I was scared after reading the posts here, but actually it's turning out great.  I used royal blue and rose pink RIT, the royal blue soaked/stirred for quite a while and while wet the color looked completely uniform and way too dark.  When I washed it though, it dispersed a LOT and so now the shirt is a nice baby blue and the color is almost completely uniform, the variation is so subtle that it's barely visible, surprisingly enough.

Same with the rose pink, which I only soaked for about 5-7 minutes.

Then I soaked all 3 shirts (the other was a burgundy which I wanted to lighten just a bit) in tan RIT just to muddy the colors a bit (since the RIT had made them into brights again).  I wanted a coffee/tea staining effect w/out having to experiment with coffee/tea.  The RIT took hold so fast, I had the shirts in there for only a couple minutes and they got TOO muddy.  *sigh*  I guess I should have diluted it a bit more, I didn't have enough control over the color.

So, I have washed them twice since then and they are still too muddied, they look dirty instead of aged.  So now I am going back for some more RIT just to make the colors truer again.  lol.  But I am otherwise VERY pleased with the results.

I wanted to buy procion dyes, but I'd have to buy them online I think and with the higher cost of them and shipping, I probably wouldn't have been able to afford it at the moment.  So RIT will have to do for now.  I think I just got lucky.

Also, the burgundy is still really splotchy b/c all of the dyes I got are lighter than the shirt, so I think I will just dye it back to the original color, or close.. and suck it up and get some transfer paper for dark clothes.  Just that the only place I can find that here is Walmart and they're ALWAYS out of it.  Hate that place.

Thanks for the advice so far everyone, I am saving this html file in my folders for future reference.
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2005 05:50:31 AM »

The world of dyeing is fun because of accidents-happy or otherwise.

Have you tried washing the too-muddy shirts in very hot water or even seeing if you can boil some colour out? It may help a little, no guarantees there though. Really, tea is very easy to work with; brew a strong pot and dunk it in there like a doughnut Tongue. The colour may take a bit longer to develop, so you would probably not have the problem of your colour overdeveloping too quickly.
Here is a secret: the Dylon cold water dyes (they come in little tins) which are in many craft and fabric shops are procion dyes. Anyone who's seen enough posts of mine knows how much I like them.  Smiley (just the cold water dyes though.)
Oh and well you now know, but dyed items will always look much darker when wet. You should always try for a good two shades darker when wet than the colour you really want.
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2006 03:19:04 PM »

i'm pretty sure target has iron-on transfer paper...
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