I love fashion colours, and always take note of the new shades of the season. As lovely as it might be to go out and treat ourselves to a whole new winter wardrobe, that isn’t always an affordable option – but you can dye many second hand or existing clothes cheaply to freshen them up or bring them bang up to date.
That’s why I was delighted to have the chance to try out some of the newest releases from DYLON, as well as some of their classic colours. Read on for my full Autumn Winter wardrobe revamp, and for your chance to win all of the dyes that I’ve selected and used.
The first two dyes I used were to refresh clothing that is much-loved but had become quite badly faded. I started with my favourite pair of wide leg work trousers. They’re 100% cotton and started out indigo blue, but have faded over time to a not-so-nice purplish-grey with extra fading at the knees, waistband and zip. I used a box of DYLON Machine Dye in Denim Blue to get them to turn back to their original uniform shade of dark indigo (see below). The picture’s a bit out of focus below, sorry about that, but the shade is spot on for both the ‘before’ on the left and the ‘after’ on the right. They look so much better.
Then I took a pair of black going-out jeans that used to be gorgeous, but had faded. I find it incredibly difficult to find jeans that fit me, so it was a dream to be able to bring them back to life with some DYLON Machine Dye in Velvet Black. See the results below – as you can see, I got my foxy jeans back in time for party season.
Next up, I had the chance to use one of the newest colours in the range. I had a rarely-worn cream top that looked lovely in the shop, but had turned out to be exactly the same shade as my skin – not a good look unless you want people to think your skin’s floating off – so I dyed it with DYLON Coral Red. Hey presto, festive season party top (yes, it needs an iron, pretend I ironed it please). It’s brighter than the shade guide on the side of the box, which looked a bit more pink. The colour also came out beautifully even all over.
I also used DYLON Aqua Green to turn a white t-shirt into something much more cheerful. This gorgeous shade is a fraction darker than the one on the box, but not far off, as you can see from the picture below. I slightly prefer the actual colour anyway.
Finally, I decided to play around a little with colour theory for the last garment. DYLON Hand Dye in Ocean Blue is a beautiful, intense shade of blue with a tiny touch of red in it, and I watered it down by three quarters to create a more subtle dye wash that was a light cornflower blue. This allowed me to take a junk shop shirt with a white background and tint it to a softer, more flattering pale blue. It’s a subtle change, but the pattern really ‘pops’ now and the new background shade looks so much better against my skin tone.
The Hand Dyes need to have salt and water added to them, and be thoroughly mixed. The newer versions of the Machine Dyes have the salt already included, which is quicker and less fiddly. You just throw them in the machine and go.
Handy tips for successfully dyeing your clothes
- Whatever you’re dyeing, make sure it’s been thoroughly washed, even if it’s brand new. Stains and dressings can cause the dye to become uneven. Work only with damp, recently washed fabrics.
- Only cotton, linen and viscose fabrics will dye to full shade. Poly-cotton and polyester-viscose mixes will dye to a lighter shade.
- Wool, silk, polyester, nylon and acrylic will not dye at all.
- Normal colour mixing rules apply, for example blue dye on a red garment will turn it purple. Using less dye will create a lighter shade. Most patterns will still be at least partly visible after dyeing, unless black, dark grey or dark navy shades are used.
- Wear gloves and avoid inhaling dye powders.
- Wash fabric with detergent after the dyeing process to remove excess dye, and spin well to remove excess liquid. Then wipe down the inside of the machine before running another full wash with detergent to clean the empty washing machine.
- On the off-chance that a trace of dye has been left behind, make sure your next normal clothes wash is NOT a white wash. Dark wash only.
- Hang newly-dyed garment up to dry on a hanger rather than pegging to a line (uneven drying can cause marks), and dry away from direct heat and sunlight.
- Wash dyed garments on their own for the first couple of times after changing their colour. This should prevent any colour transfers happening onto other clothes.
Fancy winning the same set of five DYLON dyes I used to create your own Autumn Winter wardrobe makeover? You could win one of each of these shades:
- Denim Blue
- Velvet Black
- Coral Red (new shade)
- Aqua Green (new shade)
- Ocean Blue
It’s a free prize draw, so it’s very easy to enter. Just leave a comment in the box below, saying ‘Dear DYLON, please brighten up my day’ to be in with a chance of winning.
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