Wednesday, 21 September 2011

the colour's a changin'

I inherited a bunch of lace and white linen tablecloths from my grandmother and mother, with a plan to jazz them up a bit. And, as per most of my plans, it took 6 months to get the motivation and 2 hours to complete! Here's my first (of what I suspect will be many) experiment with fabric dye.

I started with one linen and one lace tablecloth and my laundry sink. I then neglected to read or follow the directions (partly because there were additional directions inside the packet that I didn't know about and partly because the dissolving ink bag started to dissolve in my gloved hands and all I could think of was my brother saying "Stop inking yourself! Stop inking yourself!") and threw the ink in the tub with the tablecloths and HOT water. I then swished it around for a bit until I discovered the additional steps inside the pack (who puts half the steps on the outside anyway?) and went to the shop to buy some salt (which the inside-of-the-packet-instructions stated I needed). With the salt and a kettle of boiling water thrown in, I kept swishing. When I got bored I went into the garden for 40 minutes to let it soak.

Again, please note that I did NOT follow any of the instructions. I'm not proud of this, but it's part of who I am and you'll just have to accept it.

I then (half-arsed) rinsed the tablecloths in cold water and then put it through a rinse cycle in the washing machine just to be extra sure the dye was all out. Again, note that this was not a part of the instructions, but I figured by this point it was too late anyway.

I then hung them on the line and watched with dismay at my lack of colour. If I had followed the instructions, I would have had to boil them with the dye in a pot on the stove, and I just wasn't willing to risk the kitchen walls!

so much ironing to do... ugh! 

This is how the tablecloths look under our dining room light... Not the vibrant green I was hoping for, but a slight improvement from the dull white. Total cost $10.

I've still got a packet of red fabric dye, so I'm going to try again (still in the laundry, but perhaps following the rest of the steps!) and if that doesn't work, I'll look for a dye that doesn't require constant boiling and hope for more luck!!

Have you ever used fabric dye? What was your experience like?

Kate xx

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