I've been wanting to dye something for awhile now.
I don't know what it is, but I love the idea of taking something that's old, and lost its savor and breathing new life into it. Giving it an adrenaline shot of color, if you will.
So when the aforementioned search for the elusive bright pink wide leg trouser remained fruitless, I guess fate decided for me.
I was going to dye something.
And it was going to be pants.
So here's my little dyeing how-to from a formerly terrified novice.
Step 1: Find the pants.
Once I decided to stop looking for a pair of pink pants and just dye my own, I needed a pair. I had never dyed anything so I was wary of spending a lot of money, because I mean what if I ruined them?
To the thrift store I went. Usually I go thrifting without anything too particular in mind, after all, what's there is what's there, but this time, I knew exactly what I wanted/needed. Cotton, wide-leg white pants.
And guess what I found.
The perfect pair.
100% cotton, all white and guess what? They were size 0 Short. That's serendipity baby. I didn't even have to hem these babies. They were so cute the way they were, I almost didn't dye them. I mean, you all know my affinity for white pants, but I threw caution to the wind and went it.
It is important to note, you must use clothing that's made of natural fibers; cotton and silk are best.
Trust me, RIT isn't kidding when they say that the dye won't take if it's not made of natural fibers.
Step 2: Find your color.
RIT has an awesome website. Seriously, for a company that just sells dye, their website is bananas! You can browse through all kinds of colors and they provide color mixing formulas so you can achieve the perfect shade you are going for. Seriously, check it out before you dye (haha, no pun intended.) I chose fuchsia with just a dash of wine, to give the color a little more depth.
Step 3: Get out the rubber gloves, and fill up the sink with hot water.
I even added a tea kettle of boiling water just to make sure it was hot enough. There are water/dye ratios on the package.
Step 4: Mix up the dye formula.
You'll want to do this in a different bowl. Let the dye dissolve and then pour it into the sink with the rest of the hot water.
Steaming hot dye bath. Lovely.
Step 5: Wet the pants in warm water before you place them in the dye.
I have no idea why you are supposed to do this, but they said to do it so I did it.
How's that for honesty?
Step 6: Place pants in the dye bath.
No going back now.
Swirl them around (carefully!) in the dye bath so that the dye covers evenly. Rit suggests letting them sit in the dye bath for 10-30 minutes. But I've heard if you want a darker color, you can leave them in for hours. Stir the pants every few minutes so you get a nice even dye job.
Step 6: Go eat a cookie while you wait, and cross your fingers that this actually works.
cookie eaten? good, moving on.
Step 7: Remove the pants and rinse.
Once you've reached your desired color, remove the pants from the dye bath and rinse until the water runs clear. Don't worry if it doesn't run clear for a few mintues, this part takes forever!
Step 8: Remove and wash.
Once the water runs clear, remove the pants (or whatever you're dyeing) and wash them on the warmest setting possible.
Use mild detergent, and make sure the washing machine is empty, otherwise your other clothing will be pink too, whether you want them to or not.
Coming from a dyeing novice it was easy peasy.
I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
A few tips:
- If you have a porcelain sink, don't dye stuff in it. Apparently it will dye the sink as well. yikes. use a plastic bucket instead.
-Do a piece of test fabric first to make sure the dye is the color you want. The color in the dye-bath is drastically different than the color the pants turned out.
-The longer you leave the color in the dye-bath the darker it will be. You know, just like an Easter egg.
I'm sure I'm missing something, so if you have any questions feel free to ask.
All in all it was a fun project, super easy, and I L.O.V.E. my new pink pants!