After seeing a few of my favourite bloggers wearing it, I went out and (admittedly, impulse) purchased this maroon pleated skirt from Topshop. I wore it once and then let it languish in the back of my wardrobe, clashing hideously with everything else in there. The colour just wasn’t right – too autumnal, too dark and reminiscent of my high school uniform.
When it comes to clearing out clothes I no longer wear, I’m not shy. Anything that’s not working goes on eBay or to the charity shop. But I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to those cute pleats, so I decided to dye. Dyeing a polyester skirt is not easy, fun or always successful, so here’s a DIY guide to getting the job done.
Dyeing polyester is tricky. The dye needs intense heat to be able to penetrate the fabric, so shoving it in the washing machine with a bit of Dylon won’t work.
You will need a large pot that can accommodate the item you’re dyeing plus water (DON’T use your favourite spaghetti pot – you can’t cook food in it afterwards), rubber gloves, an apron and a packet of polyester dye. I used iDye Poly in blue which I bought from this eBay seller.
Mix the dye and setting agent (both included in the packet) in water and add your fabric. The water should just cover the fabric. Bring to a rolling boil. Be warned – it smells absolutely disgusting and like it may well damage your lungs. There are no warnings about ventilation or breathing in fumes in the instructions, but I opened all windows and doors and tried not to inhale as I stirred.
The instructions state 30 mins to an hour for the dye to take, depending on how deep you want the colour to be. I gave it an hour but it was VERY dark when it came out, so 45 mins would probably be fine. I stirred every few minutes for a ‘uniform shade’, which I presume means an all-over colour and not school uniform.
After an hour of tireless stirring and one ruined tea towel, I let the water cool and drained the fabric. I then put it on a gentle wash with a tiny amount of detergent. The result?
It looks black in these pictures but is actually a lovely shade of dark navy. Unfortunately the pleats are pretty much gone – not sure if it was the dye or the constant stirring that did it, but the fabric is now just a bit crinkled in places. I’m happy with the overall result though, and have already worn the navy version more than the original one.
What do you think – did I do the right thing by dyeing or did you prefer the original colour? Have you ever dyed your clothes before? Share your successes (and horror stories) below.