Dyeing your own clothes...specifically wool/polyester blends

Dr Lobster*
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does anybody here have any experience of dying clothes with 50/50 polyester wool blends with products such as 'dylon'?

i want a suit which is a different colour from the usual bland blacks and greys, but funky suits from specialist gentlemen's shops range from expensive to very expensive and since i'll be wearing the suit for work, i want something fairly disposable.

so i had the idea of buying a cheap suit and dying it the colour i want, so i'll buy a grey 50% polyester/wool blend suit (you know the cheapy ones from asda or whatever) and dye it purple/pink/lime green.

anybody done this? how well does it work?
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Gavin Scott
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Dr Lobster* wrote:does anybody here have any experience of dying clothes with 50/50 polyester wool blends with products such as 'dylon'?

i want a suit which is a different colour from the usual bland blacks and greys, but funky suits from specialist gentlemen's shops range from expensive to very expensive and since i'll be wearing the suit for work, i want something fairly disposable.

so i had the idea of buying a cheap suit and dying it the colour i want, so i'll buy a grey 50% polyester/wool blend suit (you know the cheapy ones from asda or whatever) and dye it purple/pink/lime green.

anybody done this? how well does it work?
Back in the day I used to sell the Dylon range in my aunt's shop.

The machine dye is easy to use and really effective on natural fibre. On a mixed fibre it would work - but obviously in a lesser shade. You wouldn't get a lime green, you'd get a washed out lime, a pale purple and so on.

Your big problem is that a cheap suit - any suit - wouldn't take well to going through a washing machine. You need to run it twice through - once at 60deg to wash the colour in, and once at 100deg to set the colour.

Even the less hot wash would knock the hell out of the suit - the shoulders would never sit right again. The line of it would be mushed. even at 60deg the wool may shrink, and it definitely will on the hot wash.

Also, you'd need a pale colour to start with, and Asda will - at best - sell you a mid-grey suit, so the colour's going to look grubby.

If you can find a cotton suit in a khaki (think alan whicker's safari suit) then its worth a shot, but that's your best bet. Cotton is generally robust enough to take the heat and hold its shape, and it'll almost certainly be pre-shrunk before the garment was made.

Don't fuss with the little tins of multi-purpose dye, or the handwash version. They need to be dipped in a bathtub - it makes a real mess and will end up patchy unless you do it a lot. Its a skill to get that right.

Try dying denim to get the feel for it. It takes brilliantly, but leaves the stitching un-dyed (its polyester) which gives a sharp finish.
bilky asko
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Dr Lobster* wrote:does anybody here have any experience of dying clothes with 50/50 polyester wool blends with products such as 'dylon'?

i want a suit which is a different colour from the usual bland blacks and greys, but funky suits from specialist gentlemen's shops range from expensive to very expensive and since i'll be wearing the suit for work, i want something fairly disposable.

so i had the idea of buying a cheap suit and dying it the colour i want, so i'll buy a grey 50% polyester/wool blend suit (you know the cheapy ones from asda or whatever) and dye it purple/pink/lime green.

anybody done this? how well does it work?
If I were you I'd frequent some charity shops, or search on eBay. You're bound to find something.
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Pete
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The only Dylon things I've used are the ones that restore black jeans. I think you may be pushing it to expect it to dye a suit especially given that so many are dry clean only in the first place.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
Dr Lobster*
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thank you for the info gentleman.

i was reading up on those dylon dyes and it seems as though they may have changed since you used them last Gavin - the new dyes seem to work with a 40 degree wash (and half a kilo of salt, for some reason) - if i purchased one of those wool blend suits which are machine washable surely this would work ok without destroying the suit?
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Gavin Scott
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Dr Lobster* wrote:thank you for the info gentleman.

i was reading up on those dylon dyes and it seems as though they may have changed since you used them last Gavin - the new dyes seem to work with a 40 degree wash (and half a kilo of salt, for some reason) - if i purchased one of those wool blend suits which are machine washable surely this would work ok without destroying the suit?
The salt's always been a required element - I used to tell people it was to make the dye colourfast - but the website says something about it "opening the pore of the fibre" to take dye. Hey ho, we didn't have the web back then.

Have you found a machine washable suit? Is there such a thing? Are you sure that doesn't just refer to the trousers?

In short - yes, if you *can* wash it in a machine without it coming out looking crumpled and twisted then it will work on wool, or to a paler shade on a poly/wool blend.
Dr Lobster*
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i was thinking of this sort of thing -

http://www.matalan.co.uk/fcp/product/fa ... Dept,brand

the good thing with the matalan site is that it gives you the care instructions and composition and for a mere £25 for the jacket... i thought it just might be worth a punt?

that jacket is quite dark, but my thinking is that if i dyed it a bright colour like pink, it would take on a darker purple/pink tone, which would be quite pleasing.
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Gavin Scott
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Dr Lobster* wrote:i was thinking of this sort of thing -

http://www.matalan.co.uk/fcp/product/fa ... Dept,brand

the good thing with the matalan site is that it gives you the care instructions and composition and for a mere £25 for the jacket... i thought it just might be worth a punt?

that jacket is quite dark, but my thinking is that if i dyed it a bright colour like pink, it would take on a darker purple/pink tone, which would be quite pleasing.
Nice. Can't see care instructions, but it costs you very little to try it at only £25.

Pink will go pale pink (+ the grey of the fabric). Go for the "intense violet" for a purple.
bilky asko
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Joined: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 19.48

Dr Lobster* wrote:i was thinking of this sort of thing -

http://www.matalan.co.uk/fcp/product/fa ... Dept,brand

the good thing with the matalan site is that it gives you the care instructions and composition and for a mere £25 for the jacket... i thought it just might be worth a punt?

that jacket is quite dark, but my thinking is that if i dyed it a bright colour like pink, it would take on a darker purple/pink tone, which would be quite pleasing.
This may help: http://www.dylon.co.uk/products/dyes/pr ... e-dye.html
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Critique
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Did this work out? I read from the sidelines, and am interested to hear the end result.
Dr Lobster*
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Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

i will hopefully find out in the next few days - we tried to find a suit which had the correct mix of materials but so far we've only been able to find a polyester mix. mrs lobster will keep looking - it's her job for next week.
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