Unlike the New York Times, who doesn’t seem to understand what DIY actually is, Lucky Magazine gets it. They really get it! I was simply floored by their feature on dyeing pieces in your wardrobe to give them new life, featured in their February 2011 issue.
Utilizing Rit Fabric Dye, Jacquard dye, and Tarrago leather dye, you too can make over a number of items in your closet and dye them to suit your needs. (“The $2 Trick that Will Change Your Wardrobe!” reads the title.)
Though yes, dye is cheap, the prep and process time for dyeing something can be a few hours to a few days, so it’s not cheap time-investment-wise. But as the article points out, you can achieve dramatic results if you put in the effort to dye something correctly and carefully.
However, most of the pieces in the article appear to be new, which is why the dyeing works so darn well…when you’re dealing with items that have wear, stains, detergents, or distressing on them, your results may be very different. Dyeing something is never a guaranteed process…it’s fairly hit and miss (which is what many people love about it!). Don’t start off with trying to dye your favorite dress in the whole wide world…start smaller, and don’t forget the steps necessary to prep the piece to take the dye.
Dyeing leather is absolutely fantastic and utterly addicting, though again, some leathers will or won’t react with the dye, depending on finishing, tanning method, wear, surface coats, etc. Also: I couldn’t find the leather dye kit the magazine recommends buying from WardrobeSupplies.com – they only sell Tarrago-brand leather polish, which is not the same as dye. I’d recommend Angelus-brand leather dye, as I’ve worked with that before and it is extremely high-quality. If you’d prefer the Tarrago-brand, you can buy it here on a different site…or even buy the kit on Ebay.
They even put together a little video as a quick how-to for the dyeing process for cotton/silk/synthetic fabrics – where Fashion News Director Jen Ford dyes a Barbara Bui dress:
Their other video for how to dye leather isn’t up yet.
I’m so thrilled to see a mainstream mag really try to break the process of dyeing down and inspire people to try it out!
How about you guys? Are you thinking of dyeing a couple pieces in your wardrobe to liven things up a little?
awww!! wish we could find Rit dyes over here in spain!!!
they have awseme colours!!!
I will look into buying them off ebay!
thanks for sharing Carly!
I have a few dark denimn pieces that I am planning to dye. I've had the pieces for a few years ( one for about ten!) and the color is a little faded. I'm going to redye them indigo just to restore the original color. I'm not sure if I have the patience for total color changes!
I often dye my cotton blend clothing with RIT in the washing machine. I've blogged about my projects and success (or lack of!) here:
i bought some purple & black RIT dye. i am planning on dyeing a tan blazer, an ivory blouse with lace neck embelishments, some pants I have that are fading, at 1st. i'll see how that goes and then get nutty. Thanks for the links.
I love dyeing clothes! My entire halloween costume this past year was made in this way…I thrifted a gorgeous white cotton dress and found a green apron in a store. For my Alice in Wonderland costume, I dyed the white dress blue, and, after one failed attemped with RIT color remover, my boyfriend (now fiance!) was able to get the apron white using bleach. We thrifted his entire outfit and DIY'd the hat for his Mad Hatter costume, and got second place in a huge costume contest! I agree though that you can't be sure how things are going to turn out when they're not new – my dress wasn't completely even in color, but it was fine for a costume where it was being covered partially with an apron.
I've done some dying (with KoolAid, even!), but what I don't understand is how they managed to get a black skirt light blue in the first page of the article. Do you think they bleached it first?
I've been intrigued by leather dyeing–I definitely want to give that one a try.
I'm no stranger to rit dye, but I want to know how they got that black skirt to ice blue and that mustard blazer to pink.
It's been my experience that taking color out of things is never easy and never completely gets gone.
Also… not supposed to use a pot you cook in? oops.
not supposed to dump the dye down the kitchen sink? oops again.
This leather dying process intrigues me. It would have been really super useful 6 years ago when I decided to make a pair of black leather boots red using paint from the hardware store.
I would've never thought of dyeing bags.
The bag in the Glitzy Metallics section looks amazing. Almost like an acid wash finish.
this is the tarrago leather dye on the site they mentioned: http://www.wardrobesupplies.com/store/tarrago.html
Shipping can be expensive though, so I may go the eBay route.
I'm definitely interested in trying the leather dye. I have some leather shoes that could use a facelift!
I spilled red wine on a white sweater and a red maxi dress. Yes, I’m a clutz! Would I be able to dye them a different color to “mask” the stain? TIA!
Gosh, that’s a tough one!! Honestly, I don’t think so (but without looking at the stain, it’s really hard to tell). Often the original stain edges will remain even after dyeing clothing a darker color…they’ll just get darker, that’s all, but still be visible. The best thing to do would be to take your items to a dry cleaner and get their professional opinion on how to remove the stains, and ask about dyeing (some cleaners can dye clothing for you). So sorry to hear about your mishap!!