Saturday, October 1, 2011

Creamy Pink Perfection

No, I'm not going to share my latest culinary success or any baby news but I would like to share my latest fabric dyeing adventures. I know it's not as exciting as what you thought it would be, but I hope you like it anyways.

So, in less then two weeks, I have to arrive at my Senior 2 class ready to cut my fabric out for my senior collection. To save money and to do my fair share of recycling/up-cycling for the year, I have decided to snag the dozen or so wedding dresses that were donated to my school and use the fabric for my collection. Only problem is, I don’t want an all white collection, so I got to work on my dyeing skills. People have said dyeing is easy as long as you use the right dye for the right fiber content, and follow the directions on the box. It takes a little more finesse than that, especially if you want a particular color.

Mixing colors on paper with paints and markers have never been very difficult for me and I’ve had lots of practice, so I thought “no problem, I can do this”; but ruining a 2 cent piece of paper vs. a $200 piece of fabric (or $2000 dress) is a little different so I’m doing lots and lots of test swatches! Of course I tried to make things really difficult for myself by drawing/ coloring my fashion illustrations in particularly hard to find colors. Most of the colors I want are light Spring-like neutrals like champagne, lavender, ivory and light peach. I’ve seen them a lot on runways and they look absolutely ethereal! Vera Wang, J. Mendel, Chloe and Marchesa are my inspirations of the moment. I particularly love this photo-shoot from Vogue January 2011. I never want to see Black Swan in its entirety because I hate horror films, but I could look at the costumes all day! (and anything inspired by them)

First attempts...

I have heard that Kool-Aid can work very well as a dye on natural fibers and it's very cheap so I thought I'd give it a whirl. (you can use it as an ammonia free hair dye too btw!) I even found this handy dandy color chart.------->

 I attempted a recipe for a light pink peach color which said 2/3 pink lemonade and 1/3 lemonade Kool-aid.  I tested all the types of white or cream natural fabric I had: satin-faced chiffon, organza, cotton muslin, wool yarn, and (what I thought was) silk duchess satin.
Two issues arose.

1. the color was way too bright!  (more bubblegum pink than ballet/blush pink)
2. It was too blotchy for my taste.

After doing further research I found out that less dye and more water will give me lighter colors and less blotchyness.  I have yet to try this but I'm becoming more and more inclined to buy acid dyes from Dharma Trading Company. (supposedly the best for protein fibers: silk, and wool)

Second attempt...

I've been curious about the brand Idye for a dyes and similar products, so I thought I'd try it. (it's fairly cheap and I don't have to special order it)  I particularly am interested in the  Idye color remover and its ability to fade colors as well as remove them completely without bleach (which eats up silk apparently).
A friend of mine was very gracious and sold me a 5 yard length of the most heavenly crinkle silk chiffon (for very cheap).  The only problem was, it's a bright coral red: not the ugliest color by any means but not what I needed. So my idea was to try use the color remover to get the perfect light peach.

and the results....

(playing with what one of the dresses will look like)

                                                                                                           And AFTER in a lovely rose.

 Hopefully this fabric can be used for my Princess Dress if I have enough.

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