Hand Dyed Colors

Many of my costume pieces are hand dyed using blended dyes ( I have created many of the colors I love by mixing different dyes) : Click here for cotton color swatches , Click here for silk color swatches , and Click here for velvet color swatches  please remember! The swatches  give you an idea of the color but are not exact; monitors, cameras, and lighting can affect how a swatch appears on your computer and hand dyed colors vary from dye lot to dye lot.

Talking about color is always subjective, I'll learned over time that one color can be called many different names and in-between colors are especially confusing, so I hesitate to add more words to the mix. But from time to time dancers have asked for clarification to help with monitors that skew colors and say this dye combo information helps.

Wine uses strait wine dye, Magenta blends purple and fuchsia dye, Purple is purple dye with a touch of blue, Blue uses a blue dye, with just a touch of purple. Teal is a blend of teal green and blue dye, Turquoise uses a strait turquoise dye, although the results vary in shade along the blue- green spectrum just like in nature- even in the same dye batch. it seems to be a result of the PH in the various fabric finishes. Green is strait green with a touch of teal green to keep it from being too kelly,    Olive is a combination of green, yellow, and brown. Apple or Kiwi is a combination of green and yellow dye. Rust is a blend of yellow, orange and brown. Chocolate uses a cocoa brown dye. Brick combines red, orange, yellow and brown. Golden Yellow is yellow dye with a touch of orange. Tangerine is orange dye with a touch of yellow. Red is strait red dye.  Crimson is a combination of red and wine dye. Fuchsia is strait fuchsia dye. Pink is a small dose of pink dye. Coral is 3/4 fuchsia and 1/4 orange.  Peach is small dose of pink with a tiny dash of tangerine. Periwinkle Blue is a bit of blue mixed with a touch of purple. Pastel Green is touch of green with a touch of blue. and Lilac is a small dose of purple.

Sometimes dancers ask me to dye a custom color, but I cannot. Hand dyeing is always an adventure and arriving at a wished for color is a matter of perseverance and repetition! The colors above resulted from multiple testings and tweakings! If you want garments to match closely, bunch them in the same order and they will be dyed in the same dye lot! Silks, cottons, and velvets each use different dyes and will not be as close a match as garments in the same fiber family- but if you order mixed fiber garments in the same order I will do my best to make sure they blend nicely!

Washing Hand Dyed Garments:
Hand dyed garments need special care to preserve their color. Store out of direct sunlight to prevent fading. Keep all washing as infrequent as practical, skirts in particular do not need to be washed if they are not soiled, and will last much longer if not stressed with repeated washings. Factory dyed cholis can be thrown into the washer with your regular delicate wash, Hand dyed garments are not color fast so Hand wash or machine wash using delicate cycle colors separate. Use cool water and keep soaking with detergent to a minimum. Avoid scented laundry products, the oils and carriers in perfumes, deodorants etc can reactivate some dyes and lead to dye loss and uneven color. keep body lotion and perfumes away from direct contact with close fitting garments like cholis. Use a color preserving detergent (Like Synthropol,  DO NOT USE WOOLITE!- it can actually destabilize and release dye) Most shades will lose a little color over time, and the velvet chois are generally more colorfast, but their dye is more prone to reactivation by petrolium based body products.   Cotton Cholis have a few colors of note: Red and Wine, are the least color fast dyes and can bleed color, especially during the first few washings.  Apple and Turquoise can  somtimes streak with released dye. To prevent this keep the choli from sitting unmoving either in the wash or the rinse- I wash mine in the washing machine on delicate/ cold water- it also helps if you wash with a load of similarly colored items- or with items that are color fast and will not either absorb or discharge any color- more water more gentle motion more fabric to form a buffer and dilute the wandering dye molecules. Finally spin twice or use a high velocity spinner to get as much of the lurking water w/suspended dye out as possible.
Silks can be hand washed, but dry cleaning will help preserve bright colors over the long haul ( Flying Skirts costumes have been known to wear 20 years and counting- so we are talking very long haul here).