19th Century

Trials and tribulations of dyeing

Having decided that the Juno dress really needs to be closer to the original, and that the only draping option I have that will really give the same effect is some silk tulle and mesh, currently coloured gold, chocolate brown, and black (which I dyed over the gold), my only option was to un-dye and than re-dye the tulle to match the duchesse silk of the dress.

So this is what I started with:

Gold silk tulle, chocolate brown silk mesh, black dyed silk tulle

This is what I got after 60 seconds in the un-dye pot:

Peach (that was the black), lemon (the gold), and chocolate

Well, sweet tiny Jamie, that wasn’t what I expected!  Now I have a problem!

Luckily, after a LOT more soaking and stirring, and a whole new packet of un-dyer, I achieved much more satisfactory results:

Palest ivory (gold) and lemon yellow (dyed black)

Even the chocolate silk mesh un-coloured with a lot of encouragement:

Beige isn't ideal, but will do for dyeing

Having finally achieved colours neutral enough to attempt re-dyeing, I tackled that.  I picked a navy blue silk dye.

Unfortunately, on my first go I forgot to add vinegar to help it set, so the colouring was a little insipid.

Chocolate brown to beige to blue grey. Interesting

A dry, a wash, and a whole new dye batch, and I finally got the right colour:

A piece from the first dye batch compared to the second.

And the mesh, now with a lovely deep colour.

Since I was on a roll with the dyeing, I got excited and started dyeing other stuff, like vintage velvet leaves (inherited from Grandma)

Leaves for the garland, original, and dyed

I also took a half meter of some duchesse satin in mushroom, and dyed it blue.  It came out a beautiful silvery blue that coordinated perfectly with the petrol blue of the Juno dress.

Of course, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the coordinating fabric (iron it for a start), but if nothing else it is much prettier than the mushroom and will make a lovely corset!

The original mushroom, the silver blue I achieved, and my dress fabric

With all of my fabrics finally the right colour, I can now sew the back of the skirt to the front of the skirt, and begin draping all my tulles and putting everything together.

Ironing helps!


  1. jackiead says

    I love the blues. Dyeing those velvet leaves was a great idea, how do you plan to use them?

  2. jackiead says

    I love the blues. Dyeing those velvet leaves was a great idea, how do you plan to use them? Where do you buy the packets of undyer?

Comments are closed.