Jenny La Fleur
making it work - Jenny La Fleur — LiveJournal
adventures in costuming
making it work

So what do you do when you order a fabric online and it’s not quite the color you wanted? Make it the color you want! At least that is what I did with the fabric for my Summer Bustle dress.

As always, my budget was very limited for this project so when I found yellow cotton lawn for a great price I took the gamble and ordered it. I was hoping for a buttery, sunny yellow. What I got was more of an egg yolk yellow, darker and slightly orangey. Um no. So I started experimenting.

I tried Rit color remover, which did remove some color but nowhere near what I was looking for. So I followed some links from a post on the Elegant Musing’s blog. First I visited The Cupcake Goddesswhich lead me to Wisecraft. Yes, yes, I know bleaching is harsh on fabrics, breaking down the actual fibers. But this is a costume, it’s not like I’m going to wear it more than 3 times a year if that. So I tried bleach was thrilled with the results.

Today I finally got around to bleaching my full 7yds of fabric. First I got the fabric thoroughly wet before I put it in the bleach solution (put it through a rinse cycle of the washing machine). For the bleaching I used a ratio of ½ cup bleach to 1 quart water (48 quarts = 24 cups bleach). My test piece was in the solution for 30 minutes but I thought I wanted my fabric a tad paler so I left it in for 40 minutes . I stirred pretty constantly, not to vigoriously, just keeping the fabric moving, and when my time was up I drained the tub sink and transferred the fabric to a bathroom sink filled with white vinegar (thank goodness for Costco sized bottles!).

**A word for the wise – don’t do the vinegar rinse the way I did! There was definitely a chemical reaction, which unfortunately I breathed in. I’m fine but it was very uncomfortable and my throat is still a little irritated! My suggestion would be to rinse the fabric a bit in water first and fill a bucket or something with the vinegar and do the rinse outdoors (a well-ventilated room wasn’t good enough). A mask might not be a bad idea too. **

I then threw the fabric in the washer for a rinse cycle and another vinegar rinse before tossing it in the dryer to finish the job.

The color came out paler than I intended – opps! It’s pretty and I think I can live with it but I’m a bit disappointed. Repeat after me, this is why we test! Silly Jenny. I’m going to let it sit for a couple of days to ponder if I’m still unhappy maybe I’ll see what a little yellow fabric dye can do for it… my poor cotton lawn, so abused!

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8 comments | comment?
unclrashid From: unclrashid Date: April 15th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC) (link)
Safety note: Regarding a mask for fumes... unless it's a gas-mask style mask with charcoal filters, don't expect that to help at all. A dusk filter tuype mask offers no protection from fumes.

When dealing with chlorine, it's better to rinse very, very thoroughly than risk the chemical reaction.
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: April 15th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC) (link)
Ugh, no fun! I like the color you ended up with though! Maybe some RIT would work. You're right, it's just a costume. I think it'll hold up ok if you dye again.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: April 15th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! Yeah I think it will be okay to dye it... I just need to decide if I really want it more yellowish or not. *ponders*
fancyfrocks From: fancyfrocks Date: April 15th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC) (link)
What a fabulous idea! I actually really love the yellow it came out- I can't believe it started that dark!
Was it hard to avoid getting splotchy marks?
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: April 15th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC) (link)
To avoid splotchy marks I got the fabric thoroughly wet before I put it in the bleach solution (put it through a rinse cycle of the washing machine) and just kept stirring while it was brewing. I think using the more diluted ½ cup to 1 quart was good for even bleaching too.

It's growing on me... actually I had originally wanted to use ivory but all I could afford was the yellow. :>
madamekat From: madamekat Date: April 15th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC) (link)
Great job!! I can't wait to see what you make!
green_martha From: green_martha Date: April 15th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC) (link)
Eeeeeeeek to the chemical reaction, I'm glad you're alright !
I love the new color, it's very summery.
catherinejs From: catherinejs Date: April 16th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC) (link)
Yellow Rit dye is really potent. If you decide to use it, test until you're happy and only use a tiny bit of dye. I ruined a bunch of silk ribbon with yellow Rit once -- I was going for butter and ended up at schoolbus in a hurry.
8 comments | comment?