smelly flower (xianghua), a-stir

I wasn't planning on posting about the trim on this costume, but I thought it would be worthwhile to share my little foray into dyeing trims.

After trips all around the shops on Maple Street in downtown and Mood Fabrics, I couldn't find the dark violet/blue lace trim I needed for the bustier. I found a white that I loved, as well as a lilac that I felt was a close second. Since I don't have much time left to finish this costume, I thought I could settle with the second lace.

But when I matched it to my bustier lining, the color did not complement it as I had hoped, so I either had to look for another lace in the dark violet/blue, or dye my lace.

I bought a bottle of RIT dye a while ago for another project I didn't finish, in a dark denim color. I wasn't sure if my trim would absorb the dye properly, since neither of my trim were of natural fibers. They were both nylon / nylon blends.

I previously bought 4 yards of the lilac trim, because I "settled" (meaning, I got lazy and didn't want to bother with dyeing the trim), but went to look for a back-up in case the trim didn't absorb the dye. I bought the dark blue and 4 more yards of the white I liked. I don't like the pattern of the dark blue but the color is closer to my ideal.

1. ribbon for the front of the bustier
2. hanger tape
3. dark blue lace. Don't like this pattern but it's the right color.
4. white lace. Love the pattern!
5. lilac lace. Pattern is good but it's the wrong color.

If you've ever hand-dyed anything, you know there's lots of agitation going on. I threw in my tiny, 13" piece of white lace and lilac lace into a small container, and stirred them nonstop for 30 minutes. A very boring, unexciting 30 minutes in which I forced my friend to entertain me over the phone, while I stirred my lace in the bathtub.

Dye mixed with HOT water.

After rinsing, washing and blow-drying the lace, I was overjoyed! Sad, I know, it's just lace. A 1/2" wide piece of trim people will blink and miss. But now you see this blog maybe appropriately named. In my photos below, the "before" lace and "after dye" lace.

1. Lilac lace after dye
2. Lilac lace before dye
3. White lace after dye
4. White lace before dye

The white did not take the dye very well at all. It must have been a poly/nylon blend, with more polyester.

The lilac probably had some cotton blended into it, because it took the dye but wasn't completely saturated with color. But guess what? THIS WAS EXACTLY THE SHADE I WANTED!

I quickly dyed the rest of the 4 yards I bought 2 weeks ago and stirred lace in my bathtub for another 40 minutes.

Here's the finished result:


j said...

i love how you get excited about these things, because i do, too. =DDD

hobo said...

You are talented my friend. Suzy is in good hands