Dyeing white shirts different colors

  1. One night this week I got into a cleaning frenzy and decided to color code my wardrobe. When all my white shirts came together, I realized I have a awful lot of white shirts. Given how much of a klutz I am, I'm always super paranoid when I do wear white that I don't wear it as much to save myself the worry. (If that makes any sense. :p) But apparently when I see a white shirt in a store, I have the tendency to think that somehow the rule doesn't apply to that particular shirt. Hence, I have way too many white blouses.

    That said, I was wondering if people could recommend good dyes for clothes and perhaps techniques they use. Any advice would be welcome. I'm thinking about dyeing some shirts various shades of purple ranging from light lavender to deep plum and perhaps dark olive green to emerald green. The fabrics I would be working with are cotton, silk, and a combination of both. While the shirts are white, the styles are all pretty different in that some are button down, some have intricate detailing that wouldn't change since it is textured, etc... (Not sure if that matters)

    I'm still at the stage of wondering if this will be worth the effort and would love to hear if others have been successful at finding long lasting dyes that doesn't run during washes.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. I good place to start would be to take a look at the Dharma Trading Co. catalog. They specialize in dyes and how-to books and carry lots of wonderful products.

    A lot of quilters are heavily into dyeing fabrics, both cottons and silks, so you might ask around in some of the quilting discussion groups and Web sites on the Internet. I think there are some discussion groups just for sewers and quilters who dye.

    Years ago I knew a gal who did lots of fabric dyeing--again mostly with Dharma products--and the fabrics and colors were gorgeous. She did lots of purples. There are products and "dye setters" that will make the fabrics colorfast if appropriately applied. It's a separate step.

    One thing you will need is large pots and pans and spoons for the dyeing--you don't want to use this stuff for cooking. But you can find these things at the Goodwill.

    I'm sorry I can't be more specific with advice. I've never much gotten into dyeing fabric. I did a little experimentation years and years ago but can't for the life of me remember what products I used. My few subsequent flings with Rit Dye have been disappointing. But I do know gals who've dyed some gorgeous fabrics and garments and I think it's worth a try. I'm always very disappointed with the limited range of colors and hues in store-bought clothes, especially when dyes in every gorgeous color in the rainbow are available.

    Be sure to upload pics if you dye any shirts! Good luck! :smile:
  3. Thanks for the info Big purse sue! Before I wrote this post I googled and came up with RIT and dharma but wanted to see if there were any experienced dyers out there.

    I think I end up with so many white shirts is because while I love the design of a shirt, sometimes the colors they offer it in aren't colors I necessarily like. I'd love to turn some of the shirts I own into colors I feel comfortable wearing without feeling paranoid about random stains. While I wear light colors all the time like pink and whatnot and rarely ever stain my clothes, white just makes me nervous I guess.