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Jabba's Palace vest won't dye

 
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Jaren Valnor (Ryan Miorelli)
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:31 pm    Post subject: Jabba's Palace vest won't dye Reply with quote

I made a Jabba's palace vest out of distressed osnaburg [it has the correct rough texture after weathering it, surprisingly] but I can't get it to dye anything deeper than a medium-dark gray. I have twice had it in Rit dye, constantly stirring and agitating for an hour each time, but it just will not get darker. I'm afraid of it acquiring a purplish hue. Any tips on getting it dark enough? I contemplated Design Master fabric spraypaint, like the Endor troopers use.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rit is a poor choice when needing to dye something black. And yes, many black dyes leave bad tints of purple, blue, etc.

Also, your fabric is flax fiber, correct? (what is the fiber content?) That may not be a fiber that takes dye as easily as others. I have no idea, I've never worked with it. I only know it is very very tough to dye things black.

Next step would be useing dye remover to remove your purple cast left by the rit, try procion dyes that are most likely meant for your fabric http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/3796-AA.shtml

Quote:
Question:
Which is the best fiber reactive black dye to use?
Answer:
We have 4 black fiber reactive dyes, each with a different color cast. They all work well in direct application methods like tie-dye where the fabric is kept moist long enough for the dye to develop full depth. You will see, however, some differences depending upon which one you use and your particular situation and techniques. When vat-dyeing (when you are dyeing a solid color shade) there are some differences:

#39 Black- vat dyes with a green cast and edges are blue in tie dye.
#44 Better Black-vat dyes with a purple-blue cast and edges are blue in tie-dye.
#250 Jet Black-This is the most concentrated of all the blacks and gives the deepest black when used in vat dyeing with hot tap water (130-150F degrees). Edges are green in tie-dye.
#300 New Black-Vat dyes with a very blue cast and edges are blue/pink in tie-dye.

Black is a tough color to get. You have to use a lot of dye and in vat dyeing, you need to double the salt. We recommend a 1/2 and 1/2 combination of #44 and #300 for the blackest black in tie dye.



Granted, you could be spending a lot of money on dye with no results. My suggestion, you may want to scrap your fabric, cut your losses, and invest in silk that is already dyed black. Then wash the heck out of it until it is faded (that's what I did with the first costume I made which was by far easier than trying to dye a dark brown silk to off-black). I give three examples of sources for accurate Luke ROTJ outer tunic fabric in my new write up here: http://kay-dee.net/costumes/luke/index.htm

Thai Silks is currently sold out, you could call or e-mail to ask when they will get more in. They usually carry it in black.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having seen this costume in person, I was surprised how light in color the vest actually was.
In fact, I would even call it a "medium dark grey" Wink it sounds like you're on the right track







I would think, that a fabric like this is not "nappy" enough, and is much too dark in color.

In person Luke's vest resembles a wooly sweater, and is actually a medium grey.


Last edited by sze-wan () on Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:04 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In any case, getting that dark of a gray (which is fairly close to black - I have seen the costume in person and pantone matched it at one point) with dyes is difficult. So a combination mix of 2 procion dyes suggested by Dharma may do the trick. Because I know the frustration of trying to dye things dark gray and just getting dark muddy purple or blue.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sze-wan wrote:




I would think, that a fabric like this is not "nappy" enough, and is much too dark in color.

In person Luke's vest resembles a wooly sweater, and is actually a medium grey.


Sorry, had not seen this question. The swatch I scanned is un-washed and un-weathered. Wash it a few times in hot water, tumble in a dryer with an old tennish shoe - it starts to get nappy. This is the same variety of fabric we used for JedHead's costume.



Your photos are great by the way, it is the first time I've seen the texture of the inside flap light gray fabric! And they even show how the inner tunic is most likely a wool gabardine (since wool fuzzes up a bit over time, the way cotton does not.)


As for darkness of the color, I made another tunic from a black fabric (not the above silk this person was on a budged and used a rayon blend with some texture but it didn't weather and pill up as well as the raw silk can) and it just took a lot of washing and soaking in hot water with detergent to get it to lighten up. It is hard to also compare a scan of unweathered fabric to a photo taken in an exhibit with spotlights on it (Yes, the costume is an off-black or dark charcoal gray vest. Spotlights can wash out the fabric though, as we all know the under tunic is black and even the above phtos are showing the black under tunic washed out from the lighting). I hope if you all see the final results in JedHead's costume and the commission piece I did a few years ago you will see this works very well. Smile



I'm just giving you all a huge help here. I've kept quiet for years about my fabric finds and techniques. Which I'm sure partly made Jedhead happy because he's known to have one of the most accurate outer tunics in the legion.

Forgot to mention I've seen this costume in person multiple times. I was lucky enough to take a tour where a friend in our tour group was allowed to touch the fabric and she said it felt like raw silk, but the inner tunic more like wool suiting. Obviously without a burn test or accurate notes from the archives we will never know for sure if it is perahps a wool silk blend long gone, but my raw silk finds (once weathered) are the closest I've ever seen. Smile
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