When scrounging around your closet and local thrift stores you may find clothing perfect for what you need regarding style and material, but all wrong regarding color. This is when I turn to my buddy “Rit Dye.”
The stuff can do a poor job and be tricky to work with if you have not used it before. Once you are a bit practiced with it, it is not a big deal. Primarily you want to follow the package directions with regards to using a washing machine. Avoid doing by hand!
If you do not have a washing machine without the correct setting, check around with family and friends.
Follow ALL of the package recommendations. My recommendation is do not do a huge load but also do only a few pieces. I would suggest 3-5 pieces of clothing per batch. Avoid trying to dye dark colors lighter colors and only work in the reverse.
If I have a dark color I may dye it the same color or a darker shade of the same color to take out the faded look, if I do not want the faded look. If you find whites, beiges, and other light or pastel colors these can easily be turned into almost any dark color!
I also use two packs of dye per batch instead of one. I don’t want to mess around and do it multiple times; I want the desired results the first time. After running the clothing through the machine on a rinse cycle, I like to stop the machine and let them soak in the bath for hours. I may agitate it either with the machine or by hand every 30-60 minutes. Eventually, I run out the rest of the cycle.
At this point I let the clothing stay wet in the machine for about 24 hours to let the dye absorb more. Then I will now run the machine through a rinse only cycle repeatedly until the water in the machine turns completely transparent. At this point, I can pull out the clothes for drying. I run the machine through a rinse cycle several more times to ensure that all the dye is removed from the machine.
I am careful to wash those cloths by themselves for a while, and then tentatively wash them with other “test” clothes first, before not worrying about it any longer. Usually, they can go into your regular laundry almost right away, but I prefer to be careful and ensure I do not ruin other clothing because there was still some dye wanting to wash out.
You may also find a dry cleaner or laundry mat in your area that offers a dying service. Sometimes they will dye a particular color once a week or bi-weekly, batching all their orders for that color together. What you pay may be a set price or the may charge you based on how many pieces they were able to batch for a dyeing job. Since the service may not be sought after often, you may be paying for just yourself.
The service will usually be done better then you can do it because they have superior equipment and practice. It is worth paying a bit more for if this is an option, in my opinion.
I, Stile Teckel, Hereby dedicate this guide to the Shroud of the Avatar Convention. AKA SotA Con. A huge thank you to those involved with the convention who approached me with the idea of creating this guide, as well as providing suggestions and feedback.
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