my experience dyeing 100% silk

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The victims: 1. Madewell blouse, 100% silk. Lost to pen during Spanish class. 2. A 3.1 Phillip Lim blouse, 100% silk. Thrifted, not sure what hell it went through.

Some people would think that I am insane to try and dye a 100% silk blouse, let alone a blouse that cost upwards of $200. In the case of the Phillip Lim blouse, I bought it at Buffalo Exchange for $25 or so. Both shirts had stains that rendered them useless in my closet. I've been meaning to dye them for some time and finally got around to it.

The reason for waiting? The internet scared me. Dyeing 100% silk is tricky (so they say). To save yourself some peace of mind, I only recommend this project for blouses that are at the end of their life. Silk is tricky to dye because you risk the fabric not taking the dye the same color. If the shirt was sewn up using different bolts of fabric you risk having a sleeve a slightly different shade than the other.

rising the soap out of the blouses
Make sure you cover your work space so that you don't ruin your countertops. Also only use a sink that is stainless steal. I used Powdered Navy Rit Dye, and here on their website you can read all the directions. Be sure to follow carefully for best results!

The only thing I would say is that if you are hand washing the shirts be sure to start with a little soap at first. Then you won't waste as much water trying to get suds out like a washing machine would.

I would say I'm pretty satisfied with my results! I might even go as far as to dye the blouses black because there are a couple spots where the dye isn't perfect. The only reason I didn't do this from the start is that the buttons and the thread will not take dye. This means that you will have a dark colored blouse with contrasting thread. Something to keep in mind!

You will loose the luster and the softness of silk when you dye it. This is why it is not recommended to dye a silk in good condition. Also remember that the color will be much lighter when dry. Also there are some extra stains that I didn't know where there because I couldn't seem them that well on the light fabric. They are more visible now with darker fabric.

Anyways, I'm happy with how easy the process was and am eager to try this project again!

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