Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Dyeing an armchair cover

This dear old chair was adopted after a family friend moved to France.

It is a very nice shape, I think anyway, but looked a pretty shabby. Getting it reupholstered would cost hundreds, so we got a cover made out of tough off-white calico.

I can't really stand white things, and they can't stand me either, so the plan was always to dye it a different colour. I settled on green.

I played about with different Dylon greens. Tropical Green was a bit too headachey bright but I didn't want something as dark as a full-on Dark Green or as dingey as Olive Green. 

Below are the swatches where I used different ratios of Olive and Tropical Green.

50:50; 75%Tropical:25%Olive; 83%Tropical:17%Olive, 100% Tropical Green.

I plumped for 75:25 and bought the hand dyes. The cover weighed over a kilo so I bought 4 packets.

I realised too late one of my rubber gloves had a hole in it...I had a green hand for days, literally. Wear gloves! 


The colour it was in the dyeing bucket was kind of the colour I wanted, and it washed out and dried a fair bit lighter. After a couple of weeks walking past it I decided to go in again and this time, use the machine dyes, as I was annoyed that even after following the instructions and breaking my back turning and squishing and mixing it for a full 15 minutes, I still got a big blodge of blue dye on one arm. I reckoned using the machine dye would give a more even finish.

This time I tracked down a packet of Dylon's Amazon Green, which seems to have been discontinued. I used that and a packet of Tropical Green again. Each pack can do 600g worth of fabric for the full shade of colour, so I thought this would give it a good dose, especially as it the cover was green already.

 Boy was I right!

That's more like it!

Next I plan to bleach print it. I just need to design and make the stamp/stencil.