Adventures with iDye

So, whilst trolling the internet one day, I stumbled upon these deeply discounted slipcovers at Worldmarket. 50% off? yes please. I stopped by my local store and picked up a pair to save on shipping. These covers are cotton velvet. Dyeable cotton velvet.

I’ve been hunting for slipcovers for an ugly pair of upholstered dining chairs I picked up at a thrift store for $5 a piece.

See? Ugly. They are so ugly that my camera took an ugly picture.

I grabbed a pack of iDye from my local Dick Blick art supply.

I figured that choosing a gray-ish color would mean that I could simply over dye the slipcovers without color stripping them first. Epic fail.

I ended up with olive drab covers. Not so exciting. So I went a grabbed a couple packs of iDye color remover and set about removing all the color from these ugly ducklings. iDye color remover and dyes are super easy to use. I grabbed a big pot, filled it with water, added the color remover dissolving packet, and my fabric. 10 minutes later, they weren’t looking that much better. My kitchen was a little smellier though (this stuff is noxious, and a little toxic, so be prepared to sacrifice a pot to this because it can’t be used for food once you use it for dye removal.) Also, pk, don’t be mad that I ruined borrowed you clam pot.

I was feeling a little discouraged, but 10 minutes later…

Progress. They were looking alot more like they did when I originally bought them. So I left them in for another 10 minutes.

MUCH better. For good measure, I tossed then in the wash with some bleach. Once I had removed all traces of the dye remover I started the dying process again. I was a little freaked out about dying something in my machine, but its really not that scary. Dye packet goes in, add a cup of salt and enough hot water to cover your fabric.

I set my machine on soak for an hour and then just ran a wash cycle as usual. Then I did another cycle on cold with a little detergent to make sure the dye was totally set.

The final result?

Much more like what I expected. and wrinkly, but we’re working on that. with an iron. The color is better though.

Lesson learned, don’t be lazy with fabric dye, play it safe and make sure you are starting with a clean slate. If you are dying over a vivid or dark color, use dye remover first. I’m still not totally sold on the fit of the covers, but the dyeing process was kind of fun. There’s definitely a few things in my closet that might benefit from a little dye and now that I know what to expect from the process I won’t shy away from future attempts. iDye has a lot of different color options and a whole line just for polyester/nylon fabrics. I was really impressed by how straightforward and easy it was, even if I’m not falling over in love with my chairs.
Have you guys ever dyed anything before? Is it bad that my cheapo thrift chairs make me want to by an expensive new rug for the living room?
Happy weekend!
Xx-H

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