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Advice on dyeing

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Before someone says yes please do, this is not dying but dyeing as in changing the colour of a uniform. A friend has a dark green uniform, but to depict an earlier period wants make it darker still.

 

It needs to be so dark that it looks black, but close up in bright sunshine it can just be seen to be green. There probably aren't dyes around sufficiently dark, but the question is would a green dye add to the existing green & make it darker or would it just be swamped by the existing green & there be no colour change.

 

I assume that no dye will saturate cloth 100%, so would dying with black achieve the result by allowing some residual green to be seen?

 

The other dilemma is whether to do the tunic & trousers together that way would ensure equal levels of exposure to the dye. The problem is if something goes wrong then both tunic & trousers are spoilt. Doing one & if ok do the other would be safer, but could end up not quite matching?

 

The dyeing process, does it reach a point where the cloth assumes a certain shade & that's it or does it just go on getting darker & darker the longer you leave it in.

 

Can you really use a washing machine without it staining subsequent washes or should a large tub be used. But for consistency of colour I assume a washing machine is best.

 

The other challenge is the darkening of a forage cap,

 

How fast can you expect the dye to be? Not just in washing but wearing it in the rain, is it likely to run?

 

Anyone any experience of doing this sort of thing?

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Best answer tio all these is go to proffesional cleaners that do dying. It depends on many things not least, what material are we talking about. There are home dye's available I've used them on stuff as per instructions with no problems. The local Robert Dyas is the best source I know.

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Your local haberdashers should be able to help - we've got a very good place in Colchester - Franklins - who sell everything to do with knitting ,sewing & clothesmaking , including a vast colour range of washable dyes . The last time I did any it was changing a dark brown cotton coat to black & the procedure was to put the item(s) to be dyed in the washing machine along with the colourant & start the machine , when it's finished take the freshly dyed bits out and hang them up to dry . You have to remember to run the washer through about three cycles empty afterwards though to make sure it has removed all remaining traces of colour - unless you happen to have a death wish of course in which case you just leave it until the next time your good lady needs to do a wash and see what happens :) . Your dye packet should come with pretty comprehensive instructions though . Oh - and my black coat is still black after a good few years - obviously the amount of use and washing something gets will affect how long the colour stays true . Hope this helps a bit .

D

Edited by snowtracdave

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Thanks both. I hadn't thought of dry cleaners. My fear was that if I did it then I would end up with a shrunk, crumpled uniform with patches of different colours.

 

I believe there are cold water dyes but nor sure how fast they are, I think hot water might destroy the forage cap. I have a wrong size & wrong sex tunic which only cost £5, I might try & see what shade I can get that to. Although it might be difficult judging the darkness as I progress as cloth that is wet looks darker anyway.

 

I'll dry the dry cleaners. If there is head shaking & excessive expense then I'll experiment on the large ladies tunic & take it from there.

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I have to say that I have never successfully dyed anything. Everything I have done has come out blotchy - the same with the odd thing that I have tried to bleach.

 

Going from a dark colour to a darker one should be okay I would have thought - the stuff that you put in your washing machine (Dylon?) is available in Woolworths and not particularly expensive. If memory serves you have to add salt to it.

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Yep you add salt as a Mordicant (Showing off agin) you can actually P*** on it if you like, that acts as a mordicant and cleans as well. :cool2:

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Thanks both. I hadn't thought of dry cleaners. My fear was that if I did it then I would end up with a shrunk, crumpled uniform with patches of different colours.

 

I believe there are cold water dyes but nor sure how fast they are, I think hot water might destroy the forage cap. I have a wrong size & wrong sex tunic which only cost £5, I might try & see what shade I can get that to. Although it might be difficult judging the darkness as I progress as cloth that is wet looks darker anyway.

 

I'll dry the dry cleaners. If there is head shaking & excessive expense then I'll experiment on the large ladies tunic & take it from there.

Clive

You need to find a Dry Cleaners that knows what they are talking about, so avoid a major chain who won't care. Try and find an old shop with an experienced Dry Cleaner to get better service.

Also, have you tried the local Tech College, as Dyeing is part of some Textile courses and they might be able to help as part of their studies.

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Hi Gang,

I dyed some webbing once using a dye from a local shop in my washing machine. It worked ok and I ran the washing machine through its cycle a couple of times to clean it as I wear white shirts for work, the machine was ok afterwards. The only prob. was that the items have to be handled when wet, they advise using rubber gloves to handle the items, well I didn't have any so for the next week I was going round with green hands like a short version of the Jolly Green Giant :shocked:. I also left a handkerchief in the machine when the webbing was dyed so I now have a green hankie.

Regards,

John.

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Why not strip or bleach it, then dye it with both a green and say a dark navy blue colour only a guess?!

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Got round the problem without the need to mess with dyes. Got the correct dark uniform now.:)

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Yes, ain't nothing like the real thing. I would never have felt comfortable with a faked uniform & there were other features like the change from bakelite buttons to metal ones.

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Got round the problem without the need to mess with dyes. Got the correct dark uniform now.:)

 

Do we assume that the uniform you wanted was Battle Dress?

I know the Canadian version of BD's was a Dark Bottle Green.

My Father had a set when he was in the Irish Guards for Walking out Purposes! :cool2:

 

Mike.

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Do we assume that the uniform you wanted was Battle Dress?

 

Mike, actually it was a police uniform that evolved from Dark Rifle Green that appeared black, but looked blue when you got very close. There was an official proposal that it should be changed to an obvious blue, but as an act of defiance it would seem, it then went to a very obvious lighter green!

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