Whilst moving into a new flat, I went furniture shopping on eBay to see if I could find any bargains before I bothered to hunt the full priced stuff. Luckily for me, I found a (hideous) terracota sofa which was 99p, but ended at 6am the next morning. Being me, I got up at 6 willing to fight with any ebayer that wanted the sofa, but to my surprise I managed to get it for 99p - over the moon would be an understatement!
Now being 99p, I expected it to have faults which it didn't except for the covers being a little shrunk which hasn't been an issue. But, hating the colour I decided to dye them purple. Dylon has to be one of the best if not the only fabric dye I would ever use - its just so simple to use that you don't really need to be a dye fanatic to understand. I have only so far managed to dye the back 3 cushions, the seat pads and overall covers need to be dyed still, I just haven't got the money to do it right now.
Now the dye comes in 2 types that I have seen, but I think it comes in a tub form too. Anyway, It comes in a packet or a box. The box being the bigger and for more fabric. I brought the box as it said it was useful for 1kg worth of fabric (or one double duvet cover).
The packet of dye (for hand washing) is roughly £3, the 'wash and dye' packet is roughly £6+ (which is for hand or machine wash) and the box (for machine wash) is about £5, you do need to buy salt seperate which you can get from Dylon for a few pence or just buy ordinary salt from the supermarket as it has the same effect. I would recommend the packet for a few items, but if you're dying the amount and weight of material I am, then I'd go for the box.
To use the box of dye, you simply need to pour the dye and salt into the washing machine, add your chosen item(s) and put it on a 40 degree wash. Its as simple as that! The only thing I find a bit annoying is that the dye requires you to run an empty wash straight afterwards to remove traces of the dye from the washing machine.
I think the fact the dye is so easy to use makes it more appealing, it is something anyone can do and it doesn't require much hard work from you, only a washing machine!
When it comes to the dye rinsing from the washing machine, I found that after one was it was fine. I did run it once with some scrap fabric inside to test whether it tinged it purple, but it was completely fine so I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot! I did find that I had to wipe just inside the washing machine where the door closes to make sure that it didn't run - but it came off easily.
When my cushion covers came out of the wash, I hung them on my airer to dry which took quite a long time - which I think is down to the thickness of the fabric. I then put them back on my sofa (which I am sittin on now and I still haven't dyed the rest haha). I noticed straight away that the dye didn't come off on my fingers and didn't stain anything at all which I thought it might do unless I treated it somehow to hold the dye.
I'm really pleased with the colour that the covers came out, they are really violet and fit perfectly with my living room. I didn't think they would cover the red properly or be as vivid as it is - I expected a red/purple mess to be honest! The colour depends on the colour of the fabric you're dying onto, the fabric itself and the amount you put into the wash.
I find the machine dye better than the hand washing dye, as you let the machine do all of the work. The hand dye requires you to keep the garments under the dye for long enough and I think I'd leave them for too little or too long and end up with something hideous!
I am so happy with the fact that my sofa is now (half) looking purple and to be honest - a completely new sofa! If I could upload a picture to dooyoo I definitely would to prove how nice the colour comes out - I really didn't expect for so cheap that I could get such a quality colour.
I would definitely recommend this but be careful when choosing what to dye. If its a large, heavy or lots of item(s) then you'll need more so check this before you buy. I need 3 boxes to do a small 2 seater sofa worth of covers - so this is a rough guide for you!
I love shopping sales and the sales after Christmas are my favourites. This year I was up bright and early for the Marks & Spencer sale and while I didn't spend too much money I did pick up a hooded cotton blend sweater that I liked, despite the fact it was grey.
Grey is a colour I tend not to wear very much as I believe it makes me look washed out. However I thought I could get away with it as I would be wearing the sweater with another top underneath and I thought the contrast would be good.
Sadly this was not the case and I decided that much as I loved the style of the sweater, the colour just wasn't me.
Years ago I used to frequently dye my clothes if I got bored with them so I decided that it was time for me to head to John Lewis to see what types of fabric dyes were available and try to see if I could revitalise my grey sweater.
The selection wasn't brilliant - there was only a choice between regular hand wash dye or machine wash dye.
Now I appreciate using dye in your washing machine has to be the easiest way to dye clothing, but I had doubts about putting dye in the machine. I remember using this type of dye many years ago and recall having to wash the machine after I had dyed the clothes, which seemed rather uneconomical. Adding to this was the cost of the machine dye - at £4.80 it was significantly more expensive than the hand wash dye at £2.85. The only way the machine dye would have been viable would have been had I wanted to dye more than one item but as the only thing I wanted to dye was the sweater, I opted for the hand wash dye.
~~Dylon Intense Violet Fabric Dye~~
The dye comes in a small sachet and is good for clothing weighing up to 250g. My sweater came in at 325g, and the sachet clearly tells you that if you dye a garment which weighs more than 250g the colour pigmentation will not be so intense. So instead of Intense Violet I suppose I was aiming for something a bit more sallow.
~~Using the Dye~~
To use the dye you need your clean and damp garment, 6 litres of warm water (around 40 degrees Celsius), 250g of salt and your sachet. You must wear rubber gloves, so make sure you have some handy.
First of all you mix the dye in a jug containing 1 litre of warm water. You then add 6 litres of warm water to either a bowl or a stainless steel sink and stir in the salt, and then you add the dissolved dye and stir well. Then add the garment and submerge it in the water.
I followed the instructions shown above, having decided to also purchase a bag of Dylon's own brand of Sea Salt to ensure I had the right kind. This only cost 48p for 500g meaning I still have 250g left should I wish to dye something else.
I was really pleased at the intensity of the violet once I had made the dye solution up - purple is one of my favourite colours and this was a lovely deep shade.
The garment I was dying was a blend of 60% cotton and 40% viscose which is perfect for this dye. You do have to be careful about some synthetic fibres however - this dye will not work with polyester, acrylic and nylon and will not give such a deep pigmentation with natural fabrics blended with these materials.
Once you have submerged the garment in the dye you have to stir it around for 15 minutes. My advice is to put the radio on before you start and not do what I did which involved switching the radio on with purple dye dripping from my rubber gloves. Fortunately the radio emerged unscathed from this error of mine.
At first it seemed the sweater was only going to come out of the dye a very pale shade of lilac, but the more I stirred, the deeper the colour became on it.
Once 15 minutes have passed you leave the garment still submerged and the instructions state you have to "stir regularly" for 45 minutes. I decided to leave the sweater in the dye and return every 10 minutes to stir, and this seemed to do the trick.
After a full hour in the dye you can rinse it and then wash it. I gave the sweater three full rinses but was a bit alarmed at how much dye was still running from it so I decided to put it in the washing machine.
I was relieved to see hardly any purple coming out in the water during it's initial wash and certainly by the final rinse I could see the water was completely clean in the machine.
Dylon recommend you wash your garments separately for the first few washes in case of colour running but I haven't had any problems after the first wash although I suspect that's because this sweater does have synthetic fibres in it.
I was very pleased with the results - the dye took very well and while it wasn't as deep a purple as the colour circle on the packet suggests, it was dark enough for me.
The one part of the sweater which didn't take however was some grey stitching around the back - on a casual sweater like this it doesn't really matter but it's worth noting that most thread is made of polyester and dyes such as these do not take on that fabric.
That aside the results were fantastic - the colour was even and had even taken on the drawstring cord around the hood - much of this cord (which is made from the same fabric as the sweater) was hidden of course inside the hood but the dye pentrated through the fabric brilliantly.
I had wondered why so much stirring was involved in the process but I think it must be to ensure the colour takes evenly across the entire garment and with the end results I got, the 15 minutes stirring was definitely worth it.
I was also really impressed at how easy it was to clean up afterwards - I used some kitchen paper to clean up but the dye didn't stain either the plastic jug I used to mix it up initially or my stainless steel sink in the kitchen at all. Splashes onto the work surface were easily wiped away as well, making this a fairly easy and painless operation, bar the 15 minutes stirring process.
I was really pleased with how my sweater turned out and while it wasn't quite an Intense Violet, the sweater certainly is now purple.
It does help to read the instructions before purchase and to fully understand how important it is to consider the fabric you are working with and also the colour it is to begin with.
Dyeing a pale grey sweater any colour which is darker shouldn't cause any problems but you do need to be aware of colour mixing rules - so for instance if you have a red top and use blue dye you will probably end up with a purple garment. Most importantly however the fabric is the key and it works best with cotton linen and viscose.
Similarly if you have a dark coloured garment you wish to dye a paler shade it will need to be pre-treated with a separate Dylon product for optimum results.
You also have to remember to consider the weight of the garment, or garments, you are dyeing and if it is significantly heavier than 250g you will need another packet of dye.
For the time I put in to give this sweater a totally new look I think it was well worth it and the fact the colour has held fast is something else to praise in this product.
So, if you are considering revitalising an item of clothing that might be looking tired, this might just be the way to do it - but check the label for fabric composition before you start to be sure this is going to achieve the results you desire.