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Blazer dyeing experiment

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Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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Location: Spokane, WA

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:05 am    Post subject: Blazer dyeing experiment Reply with quote

For a while now I've been checking my local thrift stores for a blazer similar in fabric (if not color) to Deckard's. When I originally saw close-up images of Deckard's blazer I thought it was a wool herringbone tweed; however most sources I have found indicate that the material is actually silk, but I have seen at least one source say it is linen. I do know that there are quite a number of silk tweed fabrics available (and many of them are also wool blends) so I am inclined to go with this finding - also I know they tend to wear similarly to wool, and the nap of the fabric in the various photos I've seen looks right. If anyone has any concrete evidence that the blazer was NOT silk, I'd be interested in the information.

My first experiment in attempting to dye a blazer was a dismal failure. I had thought that it probably wouldn't work out but I gave it a go anyway; I have dyed wool fabric in the past, but not a completed wool garment. I discovered two things: 1) The heat required to dye fabric will horribly shrink a finished wool garment and 2) the wool itself resists the dye since it had already been dyed and that dye has been "set". So in my first attempt I wasted about $4 on the thrift store blazer and a few more bucks on the dye. Lesson learned!

Then a few months ago I found a nice silk herringbone blazer that I picked up for like $4. It's not at all SA since it doesn't have the exterior pockets of the original, but for $4 I wasn't going to complain. Since it was a light cream color I thought it would be the perfect piece to experiment on to test for shrinkage and how well it would take dye.

The next bit was attempting to figure out the right color combinations for the color of the dye. The base color I decide on was Rit Dye Sunshine Orange:

I thought it was a bit too "orange" and wanting to avoid that I ended up using two packs of the dye along with a very small amount of black dye which should have given me this color (Orange 94):

The blazer took the dye very well, and I didn't have any issues with shrinkage. However, the color I ended up with was something that was more golden/mustard yellow. Here's a couple images under natural lighting with fill flash:

In these shots the blazer looks a lot more rust/orange and the dye samples (which I printed on high quality matte paper) look at lot more mustard yellow in contrast. I included these shots to give you an idea of how much lighting effects the colors - and also to give you an idea of the nice herringbone pattern.

Here's what the blazer looks like under natural light outdoors (indirect & direct sunlight.) I just hung it off the side of my house so the background is just plain grey siding (and yes, that is an Ethernet cable running underneath the jacket on the outside of my house.)

As you can see itcame out looking a lot more golden/mustard yellow than rust/orange. I think it looks pretty decent and I don't think it's overly bright either, but I do want to try and get closer the original rust/orange color:

So my next step is to use Tangerine combined with Sunshine Orange, which should result in Orange 98:

Tangerine is a slightly redder version of the Sunshine Orange, and without the addition of black this time I'm hoping I get it a bit closer to the original. And if not, as long as I don't dye it too dark I can still experiment.

Anyway I thought I'd share the results of my experimentation, and if anyone else has any experience in dyeing fabric if you'd care to share I'd be grateful. And if not, I'd still welcome your input.

Thanks much!

P.S. My total cost so far on this project is around $10, if you don't count the first failure. I think I paid $4 for the silk blazer, and $2 each for the boxes of dye - 2X orange and 1X black, and I still have most of that left if I need to try and dye the blazer a little darker.
Fiery the angles fell, deep thunder rolled around their shores, burning with the fires of Orc.
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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Location: Austria , Europe

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had such an dyeing experiment 2 weeks ago becuase i dyed an wool Jawa robe for my son .
I needed 3 attempts to get the right color Razz

Good luck with your project
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Joined: 24 Apr 2011
Posts: 138
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:49 am    Post subject: Dyeing Reply with quote

Hi Scoffman,

I recently used Dylon Dye in Terracotta brown and it is a good rust brown, would just need a little more orange.
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As RedArc said: it takes a few bath to arrive at the sample colour...layers after layers are best to deal with, specially trying to come close to a particular colour ...good luck.
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ended up having magnoli make me a blazer with a fabric I supplied.

however I was trying to get the right color to begin with. I ended up with orange herringbone polyester, I know but it looked right I thought.

when I got the blazer back it was wrong so I had it re-tailored and dyed it myself using a special poly dye.

its in no way perfect but if you dyed a few yards of fabric the right color FIRST you could really get a great result from a magnoli with your color of choice...
I just do eyes.
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