Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tutorial Review: Dyeing Elastic from MADE

Today I finally got around to dyeing the elastic for my teal polka dot circle skirt.  Instead of using the directions on the dye package (which require a lot of time, effort and water), I used Dana from MADE's tutorial for dyeing elastic.

I chose Royal Blue liquid Rit dye, to match the dark blue polka dots on my teal polka dot fabric.

Halfway through Dana's dying process, my elastic looked like this:

I left the elastic in for an hour and a half, which was as long as it took me to vacuum the living room and clean the bathroom.  Of course, I set a timer and stopped to stir the dye bath every 10 minutes.  Then I rinsed and put the elastic in the wash, like Dana instructed.  Except instead of washing the elastic by itself, I washed it with dog and cat blankets that needed to be washed so I didn't waste water.  I didn't care if the blankets turned blue since their only purpose is for the dog and cat to lay on so that fur doesn't get all over my couch and chairs.

When I put the elastic in the washing machine, it was a brilliant blue and I was pretty pleased.  Dana warned that the dye would wash out a bit and look a little lighter once washed, but I was quite disappointed when I got my elastic out of the dryer and saw just how much it had faded.  It looks like this:

It wasn't streaky at all before the washing, but afterward it was.  And the color was like 10 shades paler than before it went through the wash.  I guess the dye rinsed out a LOT and quite unevenly, I'd say.  There were still stretches of the elastic that looked okay and I can still use them, but the color doesn't match the fabric I had intended to use it with.  I guess I'll have to dye it again.

All in all, I was just disappointed in the way it turned out, but that shouldn't reflect on the tutorial.  Here's what I think of the tutorial.

Accuracy: 10
Clarity of Directions: 9
Helpfulness of Pictures: 10
Difficulty: 1
Overall Rating: 9
Time: ~2 hours, including washing

Now, even though my elastic didn't turn out how I'd hoped it would, I don't blame it on the tutorial.  It's probably because I chose such a dark shade or maybe because I didn't stir enough.  It might even be something about washing it with some other things when I was going through the rinse process.  Basically what I'm saying is I don't think it's the tutorial's fault at all.

The directions in the tutorial were really simple to follow.  The pictures were really helpful and the tutorial even linked to another tutorial about dyeing fabric in general that helped me out a lot, too.  The only thing I wasn't clear on was how much water to use.  Neither the fabric dyeing nor the elastic dyeing tutorials specified how much water to use with the dye mix.  I used the dye package to figure this out.

Overall, I'd say it was a great tutorial.  So, why aren't I recommending it, you ask?  Because I'm not convinced doing it this way is better than the way the dye manufacturer suggests.  So, before I recommend this tutorial, I'm going to give the dye another shot with the instructions from the package and tell you which turns out better.  So stay tuned!


  1. You gotta link Dana to this! Ask her what happened! She is so sweet and responds right away to her e-mails.

  2. Have you emailed her before? Lol.

  3. Hi Madison,
    Sorry the elastic didn't turn out as you hoped! As stated in the tutorial, polyester elastic doesn't hold dye very well...especially very dark colors such as blue, black, or dark brown. Lighter colors like yellow, orange, pink, gray, etc. will work best. But they still won't retain their color entirely. They will always be a watered down shade of the original color. Cotton elastic is ideal and holds dye well but of course, it's hard to come by in any size other than 1/4 inch (no thanks).
    My tutorial is not an exact science but more of a "this is how I do it at home". DIY/home dyes, such as RIT, are always experimental. There are more detailed tutorials out there and more involved dyes if you're interested in stepping it up a notch. Read through the comments section of my tutorial and people recommend all sorts of interesting products. I hope you give it a go again! Maybe with a different dye color.

  4. Thanks so much Dana! I feel like a celebrity just posted on my blog. Thanks for your help. :)


Your comments brighten my day, so comment away! (Hey, that rhymes!) As always, thanks for reading. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...