I'm 21 and really into making stuff. I have a big wedding dress that I bought as a Halloween costume, its a bit dirty but still in perfect shape. It has no tags and it's too expensive to get dry cleaned (80 pounds). I love the fabric and its shape and want to convert it into a trendier dress by dyeing it electric blue, but I'm having trouble finding the right color. So what I want to know how to clean it and if it can be dyed?
Here is a link or directions for cleaning a wedding dress posted by Grandma Marjory on Thrifty Fun previously that I believe would be pretty successful http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf55131275.tip.html.
80 lbs is alot of fabric to dye, you will find that it is going to be expensive to purchase that much dye especially in the color that you want as more vivid colors take more dye. In my experience they do not always come out quite the color that you envision either (I have dyed alot of things in my life.) You can have something professionally dyed with much more predictable results but I have no idea as to cost. Dying it is only possible if your dress is made of natural fibers ie silk, satin, rayon etc. You can dye Synthetic fibers but they do not dye at all well especeially if you want a really vivid color. Also you will need an extremely large container to dye a dress that large in.
If it was me I might consider this first, you could embroider the skirt and sleeves in electric blue and or add electric blue gauze over part of the dress leaving the front open with the embroidery it could be Tres Chic, depending on how you did it.
If you are set on dying do some serious research and maybe really consider having it professionally redyed following you cleaning it at home using the above link for directions.
Otherwise get a tiny piece of it from the hem or somewhere it won't be missed and test dye it with your chosen color following all directions for the dye and using a proportinate amount for your fabric and see what happens. Still with something that big I would really consider researching proffessional dying.
This would really depend on what type of fabric the dress is. IF it is all polyester you may have to do a little searching as regular dyes do not take well on most synthetics(nor would you get a true to the box color) If it is a blend or a natural fiber than regular dye will take well but electric blue is a deep color and may require additional dye treatments to get it that dark. Also if there is any lace sequins pearls beads whatever on it then they may only take the dye partially if not at all. If there is "dust stains"on the hem and the dress is synthetic..ie acetate, polyester etc then turn it inside out and you can wash it in your washing machine or in a large machine at a laundry mat- yes you can really do this I did it many times while working for a bridal store but be sure to use the delicate cycle and cold water only- hang to dry. IF you find that you are unable to dye the gown check with a professional they might be able to do it for you but that can get a bit pricey- and the results are never guaranteed- worst case scenario part out the dress what parts do you like the most about it? you can detach those from the gown and use in a dress already in electric blue- or you may wind up with multiple garments from that dress- good luck
I don't know about the dying but in case you are just dying it because it is dirty. I would hand wash it with cold water and woolite in the bath tub! I have put whites outside in the sun and they have come out whiter than bleaching because the sun "bleaches" naturally. Another amazing natural product is 20 Mule team borax or any kind of Borax powder. Just letting it soak in this does wonders!
Another thing to consider is if there are stains on it, they will still show, no matter what color you dye it. Some stains won't wash out, no matter how you pre-treat them. A better way to do it would be to take it apart, make the item you want to make and then dye it. That way you would be handling less fabric.
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