Wednesday, 2 July 2008
I have this red-and white checked skirt that I want to colour. There's nothing wrong with the skirt now or the combination of red and white, it's just that I have quite much of that already. And this skirt, cute as it is, still somewhat reminds me of a kitchen table cloth...
Coloring, or re-coloring is a great way to make an old and dull garment interesting again. You can also color over patterns - the pattern will of course remain, but you can make it less noticeable for example (like when I color this skirt it will still be checked, only sort of less so, depending on what color I choose to color it). But still, remember to think twice before you do color. I have made some decisions too quick before and regret it later (as before I had this problem with wearing white and I colored a lot of my mother's and grandmother's nice old stuff ocra,marron and brown. Damn those hippie years!)
At some point someone asked me about coloring clothes, so I'll give a few hints that are helpful atleast for me; I used to color a lot before and I also made lots of tie-dye too with different methods.
(If you're not interested just scroll down to the end of this post and help me out ok :)
*Coloring at home is easy in general, but it can be a bit hard to get a nice even result. Use a sink/bucket or whatever just as long as it is big enough, so that the garment wont lay wrinkled in the color solution - otherwise you get a tie dye-like result. The whole process can be a bit messy so be sure to use gloves and clean up any spill right away, otherwise it will be very hard to get away!
*If you color right you won't harm the clothes, but you have to use salt during the process and that tears the fabrics on the clothes. I always use fabric softener the first washes after, even if I otherwise don't (since it also wears out fabric faster).
*The cheapest way to color is by using color buttons, those small ones containing powder. It says on the pack that you should boil the clothes but you don't have to. Anyway, how many garments look nice after boiling them!? (But if you on the other hand dye a fabric that you're going to cut and sew later on that's totally different of course). I only mix the powder with boiling water then and add lukewarm water. A tip is to make the colour solution quite strong (=not that much water) and then soak the garment evenly in it, take it out and put it in a plastic bag over night, then wash it up. That way you won't have to keep on moving the garment around in the color mix all the time.
*There are also colors ment for cold hand wash, but I personally don't think they are any better than the color buttons. It's messy as hell anyway... But if you want to color something delicate that can only be washed in cold water this is the solution.
*Nowadays I only use colors for machine wash since that is just so easy. It won't hurt your machine if you do it right - I've even colored in the common machine in my building even though it was forbidden (hihi). I like those kind of colors more that come in a bag that will dissolve during the wash, than the ones where you have to pour the color-powder in the machine. It says 60 degrees C on most color packages but I do it in 40, or according to the washing instructions of the garment. Since I don't color in as warm water as recommended, I sometimes have to color things twice for the right shade of color. After the coloring you wash the clothes once, then you have to run the machine empty on a program warm as possible. (And since I don't like wasting energy like that I usually throw in and wash a couple of dark towels at the same time).
*Remember that you can't color all fabrics - the less natural the fabric, the less the color will attach. Wool and cotton, most cotton-based mixes color easily. Polyester won't really soak up the color pigment but you can receive a change of shade in a piece of clothing still. And you won't be able to color anything dark lighter of course. You can bleach a garment a bit first if you want to receive a slightly lighter shade. For example you can't get dark blue pink (no shit you can't) but you can bleach it and color it with pink color and you'll end up with a purple/lilac shade. It's the basic rules of mixing colors that apply.
Well, back to my skirt. I can't really decide on what color to choose. Green, blue or purple? Or some other colors? Grey? I'm kind of feeling the green. All ideas are welcome so tell me what you think! :)