December 2, 2012

Beet Red

On my long list of "Things to Do" was dye this blouse I got at the Closet Sale. Good news... I just got around to doing it! I debated with the color, but when my Mom saved some juice from cooking purple mustard greens and beets I knew I had it! I chronicled my process for you, so I hope it helps if you're thinking about switching up some shades in your life :)

The before: A 1930s Victorian peplum blouse with lace detailing, tiny pleats, itty bitty buttons, and the ever present age stains.

What you'll need: 

a plastic wash tub (or two)
cotton balls
something to dye

First, wet your cotton balls and dip into your dye. This is just to test the color to be sure it's what you want. Sprinkle a little salt into the dye bath-- it helps preserve the color.

Once you have your color, wet your fabric. Wring it out so it's not dripping. Dip into the dye bath. I used a second plastic tub for this so I could use the red tub for rinsing.

Swish your fabric around, making sure that you get dye into all the crevices. No white spots! After squeezing dyed garnet out I decided that I wanted it a little darker. Instead of adding more beet juice, which would lead to a more pink tone, I added a smidge of black Rit with a drip of purple Rit. I swished it around and got a slightly more saturated color! 

Wring out your dyed fabric. If it's too saturated, do a quick rinse with water. Wring it out again. Hang to dry. After this you want to hand wash it only, so as to not get the dye onto the rest of the clothes in the washing machine.

I can't wait to see what color it comes out to be when it dries! The great thing about dyeing this piece was that all of the age stains are gone! No more brown splotches ruining the beauty of the garment!

If you have any questions about the process or have any other tips, leave a comment! I'd love to hear them!



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  2. Great idea of reworking older items!