Black Dress Fades to Purple Under the Arms

I purchased a black dress to wear for a wedding. After the ceremony, I returned to my hotel room only to realize that my armpits had turned dark purple! My stunning dress was fading on me.

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Before the next wedding, I washed the dress in cold water (despite the "dry clean only" instructions, I had nothing to loose) and it seemed to come out beautifully. Much to my dismay, an hour into the celebration, I noticed I was purple, again.

Help! I am in love with this dress, and refuse to give up on it. I have a Christmas party in a little under a month and will do whatever it takes. It's a shiny, stretchy fabric (no cotton) and it seems to only bleed from the underarm area (I tried changing deodorants, too).

Suggestions greatly appreciated!

By Kara from Philadelphia, PA

Anonymous Flag
November 15, 20100 found this helpful

Deodorants and perspiration can change the color of some clothing. If this is not a sleeveless dress, the only solution I can think of is to cut a square of fabric, place it inside the dress, in the arm pit area, then hand-stitch it in place in such a way that the stitches won't show on the outside of the dress. That way your deodorant won't be in contact with the dress. Also be sure your deodorant has dried completely before you put on the dress.

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

The dye used in the fabric is not color fast. I don't know how to make your dress color fast at this point. Maybe a dry cleaner would have some ideas.

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November 16, 20100 found this helpful

Buy underarm shields. You can get them in the lingerie dept of better department stores or bridal shops. Their purpose is to protect your good clothes from perspiration. In your case, they would protect your underarms. They fit over your shoulders and under your arms.

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November 16, 20100 found this helpful

What if you added white vinegar to the clear rinse water & let soak for an hour or so. This might set the color but if it will fade the color out or not, I am not sure. Good luck.

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November 21, 20100 found this helpful

First, this most likely was not made in the USA. Lots of chemicals are put into fabrics in other countries. Please note that when buying clothing for children, they are packed in horrible preservatives to be shipped. That being said, the black dress fabric had a red dye base. Blacks are either brown dye base or red dye base. There is no true black. I do lots of sewing and when trying to match up colors, black is often the hardest--you can tell when matching something up to them in each of the families of colors. Brown is duller black, sharper black color has the red dye.

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