Dyeing for a new color

fabric dyeJulie emails:

I recently purchased a house in Albany that came with custom drapes. I like drapes and plan to use them, but I'm not too fond of the color. My plan was to roll up my sleeves, and give it the old girl scout try, and dye them.
After doing a little research, it quickly became painfully obvious to me that this would be a job way outside of the scope of anything I was prepared for or capable of. What my research basically turned up is that I'd be better off buying new drapes than trying to recolor the old ones myself with all of the stuff I would have to buy. But, I would still like to try and get them dyed.
My question is this: Does anybody know of anyone who I could take these drapes to, to be dyed for a small fee?

We're stumped. Got any ideas? Please share.

photo: Flickr user Dominic's pics


Try contacting the Art Center for the Capital Region in Troy. They have fiber artists on the faculty and some are experienced dyers (of wool, silk, other natural fibers). Someone may or may not be interested in taking on the job. However, it's important to know the kind of fabric it is--some synthetic fabrics don't take dye well. I don't know whether there are other people in the area that might do commercial dyeing on a larger scale.

I'm all for reuse of existing materials, but this one may not be worth the effort. And I bet it wouldn't be a "small fee" given the cost of good quality dye and the amount of fabric to be dyed. They'd have to be awfully fabulous drapes to go to this much trouble.

how about places that dye wedding shoes? I think there is some little indy shoe store on Central that still does it, but maybe call the Delmar Bootery and ask them if they do it or if they know who does?

I know for sure DSW does (having been the unfortunate consumer of a pair of evergreen satin bridesmaid pumps) but don't know if they'd hook a girl up...

I see quite a few problems here...
You need to know exactly the material of the drapes. This is necessary to chose the right process and the dye. Natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and wool are the easiest to dye because of their porous structure and chemical properties of fibers. But the drapes are usually made of synthetic stuff which can be... well... draped, but not easily dyed. Syntetic fibers are not porous, they are compact, smooth and barely absorb any water. It really takes quite a lot of effort to force dye into synthetic fibers. They usually require quite harsh treatment like long-term boiling with some caustic chemicals to be dyed. It's easier to ruin the fabric than get the color you want. But once you get the dye onto the fabric it's not easy to remove it so bleaching is out of question here. And if you put one dye on the top of another the result will be unpredictable, unless you want them black, of course!

And I can only imagine the mess it will involve....

I've been wondering this same thing about a bridesmaid dress I have. The dress itself is a decent cut and I'd probably wear it if it were, say, black, and not pastel. (Ladies, you know what I'm talking about.)

I spent more on it than I spend on most dresses that I actually like, so it seems like a waste to just wear it once.

I've been thinking of just trying RIT dye but I'm concerned for the same reasons as Julie.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

H. screening at Revolution Hall

Maybe you remember a while back there was that independent movie that filmed in Troy and involved a scene in which a giant head was... (more)

"It's definitely for people who need a kick in the butt in the morning"

Over at the Saratogian, Paul Post checks in with how things are going for Death Wish Coffee -- the company is moving to a much... (more)

Brain Candy Live at Proctors

The Brain Candy Live stage show -- starring Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) and Michael Stevens (of Vsauce Youtube fame) -- will be at Proctors... (more)

Vroom. Vroom. Vroom.

Noted: The state Office of General Services is set to auction a 2014 Maserati Gran Turismo at a vehicle auction scheduled for November 2 at... (more)

Morning Blend

More indictments related to Hulett Street fire Two more people have been indicted on federal perjury charges in connection with the 2013 Hulett Street fire... (more)

Recent Comments

... the Helderberg neighborhood is fabulous for Trick or Treating, maybe too much so. We always see families coming from other parts of Albany by the van load - being dropped off at one end and working their way to the other. Lots of houses in friendly neighborhoods = a packed and good time. It is also rumored that a few adults dress up and roam the streets handing out adult beverages to other adults. Again, just a rumor...

The People's Art: Selections from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection

...has 1 comment, most recently from LB

Eight short stories recalling the lives of African Americans buried in the Albany Rural Cemetery

...has 4 comments, most recently from Joanna Ellis

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 4 comments, most recently from grandmastergus

Mapping a history of inequality in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chris George

Drawing: Tickets for contemporary circus clown show at Rev Hall + a Brown's gift card

...has 34 comments, most recently from Al