Wednesday, 2 July 2008

CHANGING THE COLOUR


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! :)

38 comments:

readindiecherry said...

The blue is my favorite, but the green is quite nice as well. ;)

Anonymous said...

Leave it alone or hand it over as a gift! This skirt is so beautiful just as it is.

esme and the lane way said...

I really like the blue too, though they all are nice. Hmmm, what other colour skirts do you already have?

Emily said...

I love all of them, even the red and white(but it is true, it seems that you already have quite a bit of that already in your closet) this is a great idea, and I'm looking forward to trying it!

Selik said...

I say green!

Pretty Pirate said...

I love to dye things. It's so fun!! Do you ever use this brand

http://www.jacquardproducts.com/products/dyes/aciddye/

Jacquard also makes a dye for cotton as well.

It's my favorite one I have ever tried.Jacquard also makes a dye for cotton as well.

I like the purple skirt, but I always like purple. The green will likely turn the red brown, but the red will add to the purple nicely.

Can't wait to see the finished project.

Pretty Pirate said...

oops, i forgot to erase my cut and paste sentence.....lol

WJ said...

I'd be scared of changing the colour so dramatically! Whatever colour will look gorgeous, kudos for having the guts to dye it.

anna said...

I eyed a similar one yesterday at gina tricot. reminds me of a table cloth and curtains, definitely, cos we happen to have ones in just exact pattern :) it doesn't look bad, though, not at all! maybe I should go and by one, after all.

pinktuutuu said...

i'd say the green! what a great way to reinvent the skirt. thou i kinda like the original one as well.

pinktuutuu said...

i'd say the green! what a great way to reinvent the skirt. thou i kinda like the original one as well.

mateo said...

i love the green, but the purple looks great too!!

Mrs Munster said...

I've got this really nice black ' grey checked skirt and it does remind me of a table cloth. Stylish table cloth, but still. Green skirt would look fab, especially if it'll be that rich green.

purple_violet said...

i'm with pretty pirate... wouldn't it make the red go brown if you put green on it? i know of colouring that much that you have colour that is at 100% it wouldn't change to the colour you want to colour it. it has to be very light to take up that much green...
the dyeing by hand is mainly handy (sorry for the pun) for yarns for instance as you can't throw them into a washing machine...
i wish you luck with that though and can't wait to see what it turns out like.. sometimes you can defy the rules of colouring, i once dyed yarn that went light blue that has a twist of lilac.

Pratishtha Durga said...

I think that purple is the most unusual color. It looks striking. My coloring experiments have been disastrous most often, so I am quite wary of the same. but you go ahead, girl. Purple looks good to me.

Little Rascal said...

I made on just like it earlier this year (red gingham).
I added some ric rac to make it look more vintage.
I actually planned to wear it to the hot rod night at Ace Cafe tonight. :D

I like the blue one the best.

The Clothes Horse said...

I'm intrigued to see what you decide. I've never colored my clothes before--I think I fear I'll prefer the way they used to be! Maybe one day soon though...

Nadine said...

The skirt is so nice :). I love it.

Sh said...

Blue!

annabananna said...

the skirt is adorable! if i had to choose, it's go for green, too.

sugarspot said...

I would Definitely go with the Blue!

ina said...

green is probably my favourite colous, but in this case I think it's a little "winter". I have had a blue phace for some time now, but the purple would be quite exciting, too... =)
Mene ja tiedä...

ann said...

i love your color dying tips :)

Emmanuelle said...

Definedly purple.

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

Oh my. Thanks you all for your suggestions! I am really having a hard time deciding now…
The result will of course be shown here once it's done!

Anonymous: you're right, it is very pretty as it is. But I have no use for it in the colours it is in now, and I do have a use of a skirt in other colours than red and white, black or brown…

Esme and the lane way : mostly dark colours and denim… But neither basic blue, green or purple.

Pretty pirate : no, haven't tried them, but they sound good. According to their site you can't get them in Finland though :(
And yes, the red might turn brown but if I dye it dark green enough I think it will become some undefined dark colour, like very dark green or black-ish. I I've had some similar colour experimentations earlier and that was the reslut (but then it was from red to dark blue…)

And I also f**ck up those copy-paste things all the time :)

Anna. It's the same skirt. Go get it! :D

Purple Violet : it's pretty easy to dye yarn isn't it? As in it's propably easier to get the colour even and not as messy as with clothes? And as I said to Pretty Pirate, I'm going to try a quite dark, strong color to hopefully cover the red and just get it "dark". Let's see!

Vintage Darling said...

i would go for the blue or the green, both would look great with red lips!

kisses!

Pretty Pirate said...

I forgot to mention that you can get those dyes on etsy! also, I have dyed over colors that i thought would turn weird and they ended up being amazing. Its always just a fun experiment. Good luck!!

here is the link

http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_type=tag_title_supplies&search_query=acid+dyes

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

Thank you Pretty Pirate!

Beka said...

I personally vote for the green. It stands out!

I love your shoes in the first picture!

Pratishtha Durga said...

Was wondering if you've decided on a color yet! Can't wait to see the results!

Oola said...

I like it green! :)

Knuspi said...

Oh amazing skirts, my fave is the green one :)
Last day a bought a green blouse with the same pattern. I had to decide between a green, blue and red one^^

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Just to add to all that I vote for the green. Very nice.

Lil Midget said...

I say green :)

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

Pratishtha Durga : I'm intrigued by the purple, like the blue but I think I'll go with the green. Will consider over the weekend still...

Catherine said...

Wow, I've never, ever attempted to color clothing, but now I really want to try! Thanks for the useful tips. This sounds like a weekend project to me...

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

Catherine : great! Good luck :)

emily said...

i like the green, too. thanks for the tips on dyeing stuff, i've been meaning to dye a bunch of stuff but i'mnervous i'll screw it up, but these tips will no doubt help--thankyou!