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ANH Ben Kenobi Robe

 
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Ben Kenobi (Paul Moomey)
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:21 pm    Post subject: ANH Ben Kenobi Robe Reply with quote

I can't remember where I got this information but I swear I read that Ben's outer robe was made out of WWII British Army blankets. If someone has information that can confirm that for me please let me know.

As such I have been frequenting Army Surplus stores and I found one that has a lot of reenactment customers that want old WWII blankets (which are thinner than you might think). The only problem is they can only get U.S. blankets and they are not in the dark chocolate brown but a lighter olive brown. Over the last several months I have managed to get 5 blankets. Now I need to dye them. Of course my first thought is RIT dye but I am looking for other possibilities for permanently dying them so they won't bleed into my inner robe. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Paul ˘┐˘
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Jabari ()



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dharma Trading has much better dyes than RIT. Make sure you get the right dye for the fabric (wool dye, assuming the blankets are 100% wool)

http://www.dharmatrading.com
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SithariRog (Roger Allen)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HEAR-HEAR! Love the Dharma Trading Co.

Dyeing is chemistry, and they've got a VERY good set of "how to" tutorials/instructions for (probably) every fabric that can be dyed.

And...it's really not expensive. I get my dyes and fixer from them. The salt I get from a local department/grocery store (anywhere that it's uber cheap).

Good luck dyeing!
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Ben Kenobi (Paul Moomey)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice. I will do more research into your suggestions. I went to the hardware store and bought a metal tub to do the dyeing. I was initially thinking of doing each blanket individually but since the water needs to be hot now I am thinking I need to make the robe and then dye it all at once. However since the robe will be made of multiple blankets - I'm not sure my tub is big enough for the entire robe. The challenge will be how to heat up enough water for the metal tub to do the entire robe if it fits. I will do testing on smaller pieces of the blanket before doing the finished robe.

Now my question would be for those that have dyed large garments or sections of fabric - what did you do it in and how did you heat up the water for the large container?

Paul
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Purple Dagger (Sean Phillips)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

6 yards of fabric dyed in our washing machine for my wife's Jawa. Hot water and cleanup couldn't be easier. Just run a bleach cycle with water one or twice and inspect the rim area for water drops with dye before resuming normal loads.
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Ben Kenobi (Paul Moomey)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was that machine a top loader or side loader? Ours is a side loader and because it uses a lot less water I'm not sure it will work in ours.

Paul ˘┐˘
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lgtsbr ()



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This popped up in my twitter feed today, thought you could use it



Dave
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Volund Starfire (Jason Ellenburg)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does that robe have a lapel?
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Ben Kenobi (Paul Moomey)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dave - I will add it to my collection of Ben Kenobi pictures.

Jason - I think the robe is just flopping open on the upper half above the waist. See the picture below from the Magic of Myth tour photos:

[img]

Paul ˘┐˘[/img]
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lgtsbr ()



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 2 things that caught my eye were the stunt saber and the reinforced seam inside the sleeve.

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Ben Kenobi (Paul Moomey)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you think it is reinforced or just the tailings from the normal seam?

Paul ˘┐˘
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lgtsbr ()



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats a good point, it could be either maybe???? Interesting.....

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Ben Kenobi (Paul Moomey)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think because the sleeve edge is not hemmed what you are seeing is just the tailings of the seam to close the sleeve.

Paul
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Jabari ()



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dying fabric in a top loading machine is a little easier, but you can dye things in a side loading machine. I haven't done it myself, but I think you have to reset the cycle in the middle so that it doesn't drain. I'm sure you can find directions online.
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Ben Kenobi (Paul Moomey)
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - I just know you all have been experiencing sleepless nights wondering how I dyed my blankets. Rolling Eyes

I solved the problem of the hot water by using my BBQ. I simply put the tub on the BBQ after removing the smaller upper rack. I used the inner three burners to heat up the water.

[img][/img]

I used 6 gallons of water, two cups of vinegar (for 100% wool), and 1 bottle of RIT dye (Dark Brown) which was the equivalent of two batches of dye.

I soaked the blanket with water and after wringing it out put it in the dye bath. The 6 gallons was just enough to cover the blanket. This pic shows the blanket stew. I would stir it periodically to make sure all surfaces were exposed to the dye. After stirring I would gently poke the blanket down under the water level (because of air trapped under the blanket).

[img][/img]

At first I didn't think it was going to work because when I stirred the blanket I would lift it up out of the water to expose all surfaces before poking it back down into the bath and the dye would just drain out of the fabric and it looked the same as when I first put it in. The very first blanket was the test. I left it in the bath about 4 hours. Stirring occasionally and re-submerging the blanket. After that time I figured if it wasn't going to work that was long enough. Lo and behold when I pulled it out it was a rich dark chocolate brown. I put on the gloves and slowly pulled it out of the tub wringing out the liquid as I pulled it out. I then hung it on my back fence to dry.

I should point out I did not have the BBQ burners on the entire time. I turned them off about 10 minutes after I put the blanket in the dye bath - which may account for why it took so long for the dye to set into the fabric. But - HEY - it worked.

Here are the before and after pics of the color change.

[img][/img]

I have done 4 blankets which should give me enough material for the outer robe body, sleeves, and hood.

Now you say - MAN that is going to be hot to wear. Yes it will. But I only plan on wearing it inside in A/C and having a lighter weight robe for outside use. BUT - go back and look at the movie stills and tell me Alec wasn't wearing a robe made of blankets in Episode IV. This is my screen accurate costume robe even if it won't be worn for long periods of time.

Now to stabilize the color and get with my seamstress.

Oh - and now you can get some sleep at night. Smile

Paul ˘┐˘
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