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Topic: ideas to colourize my wedding dress  (Read 2471 times)
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« on: July 27, 2007 02:24:52 PM »


I have my 100% silk tricotine wedding dress, (very plain style) I bought with the plan to cut short and dye so I could rewear it. I thought I could get it dyed at a local cleaners, but apparently I have to ship it out half way across the country at a larger cost than I actually paid for the dress.

so, I think that I want to attempt something funky in redying it myself. I heard black is hard to achieve, so I was thinking a blue, or a red, or dark brown.

so my questions:

when I was a kid I used to dye my jeans with rit dye. but I hear there are tons of options at places like Michaels now. any recomendations on a brand?

I need some funky ideas, and you guys seem the place to ask, whereas everyone else just freaks out that I am dying a wedding dress. (hellof a lot better alternative to it wasting away in my closet I think). any cool techniques other than tie dye?

I was thinking maybe painting something on it like a pattern with wax -how to do you get the wax off after?

is there something you have to use to set the colour in so it wont wash out?

any ideas would be so helpful! I would rather screw it up myself with a blotchy dye job, than let it waste away in my closet. if it comes down to that, I'll paint the whole dam thing with a cityscape or something...........hmmm, thats an idea!


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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2007 08:23:27 PM »

tricotine is generally a blend with synthetic fibers in it, so I don't know how well it's going to dye, unless those synthetics are easily dyable. Since it's silk tricotine Im assuming the primary fiber will be silk, but I would expect there is a blend of synthetics. Given that, assume also that any color you dye won't be as vibrant because some fibers will dye and others wont, making those two colors blend together (and if you have a white dress, that means the white undyed fibers will combine with the dyed fibers, making the colors appear lighter)

I don't recommend RIT, and a lot of other people feel the same way. It bleeds too easily. There are a lot of threads on that around here...

Check out this thread to get some ideas on what will and will not work. The wax idea you're thinking of is batik, which is possible. Some threads in this resource list describe it: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=161059.0

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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2007 08:45:31 AM »

I recommend cutting and hemming it then trying the scraps to see how they take the dye. (Include any pieces with stitching to judge how the thread takes).

Silk is a protein fibre so it will actually dye with koolaid (much like wool) and if your synthetic it's blended with is nylon your in luck, as nylon takes acid dyes (koolaid + vinegar works like an acid dye) best.

I have been tempted to do the same to mine (100% silk), but the skirt shape doesn't lend itself to a simple cropping, so I am holding back.
Best of luck!

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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2007 12:04:40 PM »

Its been hemmed before and I have the scraps to practise with.
This koolaid vinegar idea sounds wicked!

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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2007 12:08:34 PM »

It's been mentioned that the silk will dye with acid dyes, and likewise you wouldn't get good results with rit OR another dye that was meant for cotton and cellulose fibers. Kool-aid is popular because it's cheap and readily available, but you can get a greater range of colors if you look for other kinds of acid dyes. I know Wilton's Icing Dye is something a lot of people use to make an acid dye, and dharmatrading.com sells some dyes for protein fibers as well.

« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2007 08:51:14 AM »

anyone know if its possible to dye my silk dress in cold water with koolaid? I am nervous about it shrinking in warm water. its been drycleaned before, and fits really well. I would hate for it to shrink.

« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2007 08:34:46 PM »

i don't think it will work in cold water, i'm pretty sure you need heat to set acid dyes.

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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007 10:28:23 AM »

I just found out from the manufacturer that the dress is 100% silk fibres, but lining is 100% polyester georgette.

I am thinking of painting a graduated pattern with the silk now, sort of with long brush strokes that get more condensed, with the colours getting darker as it gets to the bottom of the dress, and sparcer as it gets to the bodice. (in my mind, this might look better with a white lining than a solid coloured dress).

what kind of dye would one recommend for this? if I mix a kool aid vinegar solution to paint on, do I still need heat? do I still pre-wet the dress? (I imagine the dye will run no matter what I do unless i use wax).

or, what type of dye would you recommend for me to be able to 'paint' on?

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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007 07:06:20 PM »

Anything that you use to dye silk will be an acid dye. Acid dyes have to be heat set. You can't avoid it. Well, you can, but it'll bleed like mad every time you wash it.

I really like pro-chem's wash fast dyes. http://www.prochemical.com/catalog/washfast.htm

I do not recommend using koolaid or food dyes because they can be really unpredictable. Many of them are composites of 2 or more single colors of dye and frequently they strike at different acidities/temperatures meaning your purple could separate into fuschia and blue. Specifically for fiber dyes can also separate when using them so you will want to test, test, test. You'll get a much more reliable end product if you use materials specifically made for your use. I'd really really stay away from Kool-aid because let's face it, you're going to end up using a LOT to dye a wedding dress and it's really not going to be economical in the long run.

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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2007 10:09:41 PM »

Fiber reactive dyes can also be used to dye silk. It doesn't require heating but it does require warm water and soda ash. the soda ash does mute the shine of the silk a little though.  The downside to fiber reactive dyes is that the article being dyed needs to be washed thoroughly in hot water for the unattached dye to be washed out, so that might not be any better on the fabric than the acid dyes. In fact the acid dyes may even turn out to be gentler since they don't need the vigorous washing out that fiber reactive dyes do.

I am a little nervous posting help, since I don't want to feel responsible if you use fiber reactive dye and the dress shrinks during the wash out; something that can very well happen. Consult someone who should know about the fabric before attempting to dye it and try it out on a scrap first of course since a wedding dress is an expensive thing that you don't want to mess up.

There is a chance that your gown is not washable, and therefore not dyeable.

Here's a link to prochemical's instructions for their dyes including procion mx, a fiber reactive dye and pebeo soie a silk paint (needs to be steamed though):http://www.prochemical.com/directions.htm
They even have a page for silk painting with mx and citric acid, (which will attach the dye like an acid dye, preserving the shine) covering the item with a black bag and letting it sit at room temperature for 24 hours. But that method also requires washing out with hot water.

I would not recommend using any food coloring based dyes (easter egg/koolaid/wiltons) on silk because the color in my experience just washes out with water. I've soaked the silk yarns I've dyed with food coloring in a citric acid solution (vinegar will work too, but I found that the amount I needed left a noticeable smell) and let them dry and if the yarn is acidic enough, it won't bleed when it gets wet, but this has to be kept up every wash and I don't consider it a fix, just a way of extending the life of the things I made with food coloring dyed silk before I knew how fugitive it was on silk.

Food coloring does work fine on wool and other animal fibers though.
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