Before I start I want to say that I am no expert at dyeing clothing, I’ve only done it twice in my life!
The first time it was out of necessity- on our first trip to the USA in 2013, I bought the Lavender Jenny Dress from the Pinup Girl Boutique but got a huge patch of bleach on it the first day I wore it to work! I was devastated but came up with a solution- dye it a darker purple. I ended up needing to do it twice to get a even colour and it certainly wasn’t a perfect job.
However, over the weekend I attempted another dye job. I felt a serious lack of green tops in my wardrobe and with the Black Friday sales, I decided to buy a new white peasant top so that I could dye my old, slightly stained one green.
I wanted as close to a Emerald green as possible and went to my local Spotlight to pick up a dye. I had origonally planned on using a colour from the Dylon range as that seems readily available and it’s what I’ve used before. None of the Dylon greens seemed like the right colour although looking online, there does seem to be a ‘Emerald’ in the range so it must have been sold out or not stocked in store.
iDye was the other brand stocked at Spotlight. It’s not one I’d heard of or seen before but I liked the idea of the minimum-mess dissolvable packet and there was a ‘Emerald Green’.
You can dye your garment by stovetop or machine wash. The packet said that the best results would be achieved via the stovetop method so that’s what I went for.
I filled a very large stainless steel pot with hot water and put the element on medium heat. I followed the instructions, putting the dissolvable dye packet into the water and once fully disolved, adding my pre-wetted peasant top.
I stirred constantly for 5 minutes or so to make sure the colour took evenly. As per instructions, I then added a cup of salt since the top is cotton.
Processing time on the packet said 30mins and that stirring frequently was important. I stirred constantly for the first 20mins and then eased off for the last 10. One concern I had was shrinking the top- the instructions called for the water to be brought to a simmer and maintained for the length of processing time. I decided to keep the water hot, but not let it get to a simmer as I thought it may be a bit risky.
Once the 30mins was up, I rinsed the excess dye out of the top and put it through the washing machine on a regular cycle and a small amount of washing powder.
I’m really happy with the result! The colour took super evenly, much better than my purple Jenny attempt. The only downside is that the thread and lining is not cotton so it stays white, the same obviously for the zipper. This doesn’t bother me as it’s not that obvious, especially with the gathering, but when looking at dyeing any garment, I would look at the stitching and take it into consideration.
Dyeing clothing can be a bit of a risk- don’t try it unless you are prepared for it to be a failure. As I’ve said, I am no expert but my advice would be to always follow the instructions, stir A LOT to make sure the colour is even and don’t let the water get too hot or your item may shrink.
Dyes like these work best on cotton. If you want to try dyeing synthetic fibres, you will need to buy a specific dye for that kind of fabric. With the success of this, I might pick up another white peasant top and try the turquoise colour from the iDye range!