Dyeing Fabric

In an effort to not spend money needlessly, I’ve been making sure to try to mend or upgrade current clothing options when needed, instead of buying new. But, deep down, I also find this to be a fun task. It’s like a puzzle, how can I make this clothing work? Can I turn it into something else? Can I alter it? Add new buttons? Add patches?

But I decided to go out on a limb with my last project. And the results were hilarious enough that I figured it might make an entertaining blog post during this housework dry spell.

I’ve also considered, that maybe I should just take a break from writing posts until more housework can be done…but damn if I don’t enjoy a good deadline and routine!

I wear slips under my dresses. For those of you under age 30 (hahahaha! None of you reading this are likely to be under age 30), a slip is a base undergarment layer that keeps clothing from clinging to you and protects the clothing from the sweat and oils from your body. It can also keep you warm or cool, depending on the fabric.

Most modern slips are absolutely useless. They are made of fabric that is itchy or scratchy or clingy itself. Slips have been replaced with scuba-suit style shapewear, designed to trick people into thinking human bodies are suppose to have particular proportions. In my opinion, shapewear and modern base layers are the most uncomfortable clothing in existence. If you can find any that aren’t constricted shapewear, they often can only be found in white and a beige color that is suppose to match the skin tone of your standard white woman’s skin. Occasionally, you can find black slips. Rarely, do companies make slips that go below your knees and, often, they have an annoyingly long slit up the back or side.

When I first starting wearing slips, I bought a bunch of the perfect kind (after ordering some different brands to try out). Vanity Fair reversible slips in maxi dress length. They come in only black and white and are made of a cooling nylon fabric. They are absolutely loose, with no tailoring whatsoever. For me, the perfect slip.

But then, Vanity Fair stopped making them. 🤦🏽‍♀️ And I realized they were selling out of the last of their stock. So I bought the only size and color I could find as the stock dwindled, the white maxi slips.

Oh reader. White is a beautiful color. But white is a difficult color. It’s difficult when you live on an acreage. It’s difficult when you have a dog. It’s difficult just being a human who sweats.

It didn’t take long for my white slips to get dingy and discolored. I tried special fabric cleaners and bleaches. I read endless forums about returning the bright to your white clothes. But nothing brought the beautiful white back.

Wearing a slightly graying slip is less than ideal. It made me feel like I wasn’t clean, even though the slip was clean. So I decided, why not invest in a dye that is designed for nylon fabrics to see if I could change the color, and therefore hide the stains? Even if the fabric ended up splotchy or tie-dyed, it would be better than looking like I was wearing a dirty slip (mind you, the goal is for people NOT to see a slip, but sometimes a bit of a peak comes through).

So I did some more research and found a brand and kind of dye that works on nylon. And I had to do the hard part of picking a color. I didn’t want to spend excessive money on trying a lot of dyes. Since most of my dresses are colorful, I wasn’t worried about the depth with which the final color would turn out.

My first thought was dark blue. Navy. Navy is such a classic color. No navy though. Then I checked out the blues. Some pretty choices. But blue was almost triple the cost of the other colors. So I switched to look at greens. Yeeesh! Greens were five times the cost of the others. So now I was getting frustrated. I looked at all the prices of the 20 colors available. And I was left with one of the reds or oranges.

Orange isn’t my color. It’s my hair color, but not my clothing color. But I thought a red would be a good choice. If I went with a dark red, that is a pretty neutral color and would likely hide stains well. I picked Vermillion Red.

If you know where this is going, feel free to chuckle to yourself at my lack of knowledge on dyes.

I followed all the directions. A large pot on the stove, filled with hot water and put on high to stay warm. Then added the right amount of the powdered dye to the water. I had to stir it for quite awhile to dissolve it. It looked like dark blood.

Then I added the clean white slips to the pot. I brought it up to a boil and needed to stir it constantly for thirty minutes.

After which I added the vinegar to set the color. And then needed to turn the heat off and let the pot cool completely. Once it cooled, I rinsed the slips in warm water and then washed them as I would regularly to make sure no dye would rub off onto my skin or on other clothes.

Did you notice the color of the slips? Immediately when I put them in the water they turned PINK!

Regardless of the time in that dark red water, the dye just kept making them a deeper and deeper rose pink color!

I started laughing when I saw how they weren’t turning red at all. Of course Jenna! Of course the red dye would turn the white slips rose pink.

It’s a pretty color. And none of the grayish stains affected the dye on the fabric. They came out very even and haven’t bleed at all. But, I do now have three pink slips instead of three red slips.

Perhaps I should’ve shelled out the cash for the blue or green dyes…but lesson learned. And I have plenty of dye left should I care to make anything else pink. 🤣

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