diy: overdyeing a silk shirt

9 August 2015 Comments Off on diy: overdyeing a silk shirt

overdyeing a patterned silk shirt | respite

A couple years ago I clearance purchased a patterned silk tee from JCrew, 
And even though I wore it quite a bit while it was new,
it would sit for months in my closet unworn
(pink is not a color I gravitate towards).
until I realized that overdyeing it black would up its chances of being worn.

Although I have dyed wool from a natural state,
overdyeing an already patterned item made me slightly more hesitant.
But since it wasn’t a favorite as it was,
the worst that would happen is a lesson learned,
and if it did work then all the better!

Before I began, I wanted to make sure that I did everything properly,
and looked up a few tutorials using RIT dyes.
However, very few talked about using actual silk, or it was for the shibori method
and I couldn’t find any about overdyeing a patterned item.

In the end, I threw caution to the wind (sort of),
bought a bottle of liquid RIT dye in True Black,
and did the following:

~ Mix a paste of baking soda, dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide and pretreat any stains. This also removes underarm/deodorant residue.

~ After that has set for 30-60 minutes, handwash with regular laundry detergent. Rinse. Making sure the garment is nicely soaked. You want it to be wet when you set it in the dye.

~ Bring a LARGE pot of water in a stainless steel pan to a simmer over medium heat, add 2/3 or a whole bottle of liquid RIT dye to the pot, along with a cup of white vinegar.

~ Add your garment and let it simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Make sure you stir frequently using stainless utensils or a wooden spoon that you don’t care about, and that the WHOLE piece of clothing gets exposed to the dye. I think a bit of my shirt was scrunched up part of the time and the upper back did not get saturated as well as I would have liked.

~ Rinse in warm water, gradually getting cooler, until the water runs clear.

~ Wash in a conditioning soap to restore the proteins back to the silk. Roll it up in an old towel pressing the water out as best as you can. Let air dry most of the way, and then iron on a silk setting.

Remember that if you don’t use stainless steel items, or if your sink isn’t stainless. The dye will stain Immediately. We don’t have any sinks or drains that are stainless, so I dumped my dye pot in the garden and used stainless mixing bowls for rinsing outdoors.

On very close examination, a faint bit of the pattern remains,
but all in all, it does not look like a diy,
which deems it a success.

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