April 24, 2014

Dying Curtains

In last week's post about our cabin bedroom updates, I neglected to mention the new navy blue curtains.

These curtains had a former life in our Family Room.  They looked like this:


After we replaced this:

But eventually they were given the boot when we replaced them with this:

True to form, the Hubs tried to give these curtains the boot nearly a dozen times, but my hoarder mentality managed to save them, and now I get to do the "I Told You I'd Use Them Again" dance.  

It wasn't that easy though, because these babies started out turquoise.   Nothing a little Rit Dye couldn't handle. 

I started by rinsing the curtains out in my laundry tub, and to my surprise a lot of color dye washed out. 

After I rinsed them clear, I filled up the tub with hot water, and poured in my packet of dye and 1 cup of salt.

The key to dying this big amount of fabric is to keep it moving so that the dye doesn't set unevenly in folds or creases.  It's not easy trying to stir a giant cauldron of inky dye. I started with a broom handle:

But found the tongs more effective for lifting and spreading out the fabric. 

After about 20 minutes of this, I drained the sink, then spent another 5 minutes rinsing all that fabric clear of dye.  Once the water runs clear you can throw the fabric into the washing machine for a cold cycle, and get to the business of cleaning out your sink.

I momentarily freaked out when I saw the condition of the sink, but luckily a little elbow grease and some Soft Scrub with Bleach made it better than new. 

After the wash and dry cycle. I was pretty thrilled with my new navy curtain panel.  This photo below is the best color representation of where we started (the left) and where we ended up (the right.)

It took me just over a half an hour to dye the first panel (not counting the washer and dryer time) and the next evening after bedtime I dyed the second panel.  So just over an hour of pretty tedious work, but the result is 2 curtain panels for just $3.29- the cost of the dye with coupon.  I'll take it.

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