Friday, June 24, 2016

50 Shades of Orange

Our HalloWedding colors are, of course, orange and black. As this is a Halloween themed wedding, not just any orange will do.  Our biggest problem in coordinating decor for the event has been finding and matching the right shade of orange.  It has been especially difficult being that we are "out-of-season."

Several months ago I ordered a set of 30 orange table runners from a company I thought to have the closest shade for the best price.  Not even close.  They were actually more of a springtime melon orange color.  Oh well, we're crafty.  Let's just dye them.  So off I went to do the research on the material and to find the right dye formula.  Much to my chagrin, these runners are 100% polyester.  It turns out polyester is a synthetic material and the most difficult to dye.  So after much deliberation and procrastination I discovered this: 
 Rit DyeMore Apricot Orange for synthetics.  This is a stove top method dye.  So, be sure your material will fit in a pot and won't be ruined by heat.  The dye will need to be heated between 180 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit (just before boiling point).  I used my largest stainless steel pot that I don't cook food with and a large wooden dowel rod to stir and keep the material moving.  I must admit here that I alternated stirring and letting it simmer in 5 minutes increments for a total of 30 minutes each batch.
Me, in my purdy purple craft gloves and an orange shirt in my orange kitchen with an orange tablecloth in the background, dyeing table runners orange.  Hmmmmm...I'm seeing a running theme here.
I want to note here that the bottle reads per "2 lbs. of fabric" and for polyester to double the amount of dye.  They mean 2 lbs. precisely.  For me, that was 8 runners in 3 gallons of water with 2 bottles of dye.   I used a kitchen scale to weigh my fabric.  I tested this theory by adding a few extra runners to the pot after my first 2 lb batch was finished.  The dye did not come out as dark at all.  Keep in mind, my runners were already orange  to start so this result could vary with lighter or darker colored materials. The results could also vary with the type of material you are using.  Here is a photo of the original color on the right and the dyed product end result is on the right.  BIG Difference!  I am very pleased with the result.
The original table runner color is on the right and the end result color is on the left.
After the first batch was done, I added another full bottle to the leftover dye in the pot and completed dying 7 more table runners. It took me 6 bottles of dye and about 6 hours total over two nights to complete dying 30 melon orange table runners to a darker Halloween shade.  Overall, I found polyester simple to dye with Rit DyeMore.  I would do this again without question.  I can't wait to see the tables decorated.

Until next time, my peculiar friends.