Dye your clothes to refresh your wardrobe with new color: With dye pot and stencil brush
The time of year is upon us when it is necessary to think of the transformation of last spring’s clothing into this fall’s. Nothing in this work is so important as the dyeing and coloring or fabrics before making over. Besides this, there are always methods of rejuvenation by a careful use of stencil paints and watercolors.
Garments may be dyed entire, or they may be ripped apart and dyed in breadth. The letter is better for skirts, long coats, etc; but it is quite easy to dye blouses, ribbon trimmings and things of that sort just as they are without ripping them.
Different directions come with the various prepared dyes, each of which has its own best methods. General information, however, can be given.
The dye is usually mixed with boiling water in a tub or pot that will not be hurt by discoloration, and two stout sticks are used to keep the hands from the liquid. Rubber gloves should be worn.
Dip the material evenly, being sure that it is thoroughly permeated by the dye before removing it. For some varieties, it must be left to soak overnight. Finally, take it out with the aid of the sticks and hang it on a line in the open air to drip without wringing or squeezing. Only in this way can you avoid streaking.
There are usually different dyes for cotton and linen and for wool and silk, as vegetable materials take dye much less quickly than animal fabrics. It is never possible to obtain the same rich shade by the use of the wrong dye as by the employment of that suited to the material.
As for mixed goods, they are usually cotton and wool, and must be dyed according to the predominating material. This is usually cotton, but there is a different rule for practically every fabric.
Choosing a color to dye your clothes
The great question of dyeing is that of color. In general, velveteen and a few woolen fabrics are the only goods that will dye to even dark colors. The important thing is to make the shade always darker than it has been. Of course, one phase of dyeing is simply the restoration of color — the rejuvenation of the shade always present.
In dyeing to another color, the following rules should be observed: Blue and purple will not dye over yellow or orange, nor navy blue over brown. Green will not dye over red or brown. Seal brown, scarlet, crimson, cardinal and turkey red and garnet will not dye over green, nor the first two named over blue or slate. Crimson will not dye over purple or old gold, nor yellow over purple or slate. Golden brown, pink, orange and gray will not dye over any dark color. Black is the only shade that will dye over everything.
Of course, figured goods will dye solid, though sometimes the stripes or dots will come out a lighter shade. In considering the color, you must have regard to every shade in the goods.
Often the dyes cannot be obtained the exact shade desired, and two or more must be mixed. Here are some of the commonest combinations: apricot — orange and green; bronze — dark brown and green; cerise — pink and brown; ecru — orange and brown, diluted; maroon — purple and crimson; old rose — one part of pink to two parts of brown, diluted; salmon — pink, orange and brown; tan — dark brown and orange.
What can you dye? Clothes, hats, stockings and more
All sorts of materials can go into the dye pot; feathers are the only things with which the amateur does not seem to succeed. Silk stockings, maline and net ruffs, even leather slippers, dye easily. Straw hats find in this method an easy means to rejuvenation. One precaution must be observed with this: after the straw is dyed, do not let it drip, but rinse it in cold water to set the color until the water runs clear.
A pretty way of treating a dyed hat is to stencil it with the stains sold for that purpose. A cut stencil is not needed, but the design should be drawn in pencil and then covered with a soft, flat brush. This stenciling (so called) can be applied also to belts, tunics, yokes and sashes — and, in fact, to any article which is not large enough to require the regular cut-out stencil.
The subject of painting garments in place of embroidery might well take an article by itself. Nothing is more attractive than a lingerie gown with the flower design touched in color, or a hand-painted wreath or cluster of blossoms on a chiffon scarf or a pastel ribbon. The girl who can do this work should count herself fortunate.
A charming phase of this art is the emphasizing of lace motifs by picking out the pattern in delicate color — perhaps only a cream on white, or perhaps a more definite shade, giving the effect of a dipped lace. Do this work with a fine camelhair brush and the stencil dye.
Watercolors may also play their part in the freshening of garments. One girl of my acquaintance always touches up the faded flowers on her hats, making them as good as new again; and the idea may be applied to other accessories of the same sort, such as colored figures on unwashable goods, feathers, fans, etc.
So the maiden who dyes and stains and paints may well rejoice in her knowledge of that useful craft, and her less-wise sister would better learn it speedily, for it is a prime factor in the methods of the economical maid, and the few stains on hands and arms that are its only drawbacks are easily removed with pumice-stone and lemon. And meanwhile, your rejuvenated garment is drying on the line!