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Dye 1, Christy 0

October 6, 2010

So it’s like this. I am making Anika a circle skirt to go with this really cute pale purple and charcoal gray striped sweater we got her. I’m following the tutorial from the lovely and talented Dana over at MADE. The tutorial is here.

Well, in that tutorial Dana shows you how cool it looks if you dye the elastic prior to attaching it to your skirt – because hey! White is boring! And giant wide elastic is almost always white and why not mix it up, right?

So this morning I figure why not – lets try to dye the elastic a light purple to go with the charcoal skirt (thus matching the sweater even more closely). Am fancy! Lets try!

So here we are then. Have my bucket, my rubber gloves, my really white elastic, and my purple dye. Also, for what it’s worth, there’s the sweater (which – nobody panic – I moved FAR AWAY before I opened the dye).

Now, as you can probably tell from the purple stripe in the sweater, it’s really a very pale lilac colour – NOT the deep purple that the dye package says. Also, the only thing I was dying was a meter of elastic. It weighed about 20 grams and the package was rated for 250g. SO, I did a little math and figured I’d use about half of the recommended water, and 1/4 of the package of dye. That way I should be able to keep the elastic from turning too dark a purple.

Onward! Mixed the dye, threw the elastic in, stirred it around a bunch of times. About halfway through it looked like this:

Purple! Hurrah! I figured I’d leave it a bit longer since I knew the colour would lighten afterwards, when it was rinsed and washed.

I finished the dye process, and then did the rinse and wash. When I was done it looked like this.

That’s right friends. Not even a little bit purple. Well maybe a little. A purplish tinge. If you squint, and tilt your head to the side.

This would be what we call a DESIGN FAIL. Good effort but….no. Just no. I’ve got a couple of theories about why it didn’t work – one is that perhaps I diluted the dye too much (not enough dye for the amount of water). Another possibility is that the polyester content in this particular elastic is just too high (I thought it was around 65% but maybe I am wrong about that) – and the dye will only bond to natural fibers.

Thankfully I don’t actually care all that much this time – if it’s more white than purple, eh well. It’ll do it’s job and be fine.

Stay tuned – will post the circle skirt soon! Lets hope THAT doesn’t fall so neatly into the “fail” category!

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