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How To Breathe New Life Into Your Clothes: Dye Them!

by:GOWORLD     2020-09-15
If you're anything like most people, you probably have a favorite shirt, blouse, dress, coat, or any piece of clothing you just cannot bear to part with.
Never mind that it's seen too many washes you can't tell what the original color is anymore or that what used to be white now looks more like cream and not in a flattering shade at that. Whatever your reason is for holding on to that precious piece of clothing, I bet you would like to know how to make it wearable again.
And there is one thing you can do to breathe new life into your clothes. Dye them!
It's easy, fun, and do it long enough, it's almost a Zen like experience.
Here are some pointers for first timers then. Just like any arts and crafts project, these were culled from my experience and I'm sharing them with you now because I've had very satisfactory results and I just love how suddenly, I seem to have my old favorites back!
Tip # 1 Make sure you're ready to 'part' with that favorite item just in case some minor, or major, mishap occurs in the process. In other words, remember, you're not a professional at this. So, if there's really something in your wardrobe you can't part with, don't experiment on it. Call in a professional. Anything else that you love but wouldn't mind having some fun experimenting on, is a go.
Tip #2. Speaking of not being a professional, make sure to follow the instructions. Whatever dye you use, there's bound to be instructions written on the packet or packaging somewhere. Make sure to follow it. If it says dilute the dye in boiling water, don't think tepid would do. If it says add salt to the mixture, add just the right amount as instructed. There's a science behind it that I honestly cannot explain at this point, unless I start researching more on how the actual dyeing process works - which isn't the point of this article - and you don't have to argue with science when you're having fun.
Tip # 3. Trust that the washing machine will do a pretty good job. I don't have cauldron big enough to hold my jackets in when I dyed them. So, I used the washing machine. Don't worry, dyes don't stain plastic or metal. Ideally, you'd like to hot dye your clothes to give them more vibrant colors - and that means boiling them while you dye them. But cold dyeing is just fine too, except the colors don't come out as deep. Don't be fooled by the term though. When you 'cold dye' your clothes, you still have to boil enough water to be able to submerge you clothes in it, boil the dye, and add it to the mixture.
Tip # 4. Reset. A good rule of thumb is to set your washing machine to a 'wash cycle' setting for at least 20 minutes. You can reset again and again, as many times as you like to get a deeper color. Remember though that colors look much deeper when wet so if you're set on a really dark color, I suggest a longer wash cycle, and more dye.
Tip # 5. Rinse, rinse, and rinse. A dye is still a dye, even if made from vegetable products. I've found out the hard way, that if you don't rinse properly, it either 'bleeds' into your other clothes or, worse, gives your rashes. So rinse properly. Rinse well. Rinse until the water runs clear and wash with a mild detergent. It will make the colors less vibrant, but better that than being itchy all over.
Tip # 6. Iron while still damp. I'm sure searching on Google will give you an answer why, but my theory is, this helps set the colors in. At least that's what the packaging says and like I said, there must be a reason why they placed that bit of instruction there and I'm not about to take any chances on that one.
Follow these tips, and at the end of less than an hour, you will a 'brand new' wardrobe. In all the colors of the rainbow, if that's what you want. I know I now do.
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