How to dye your crinoline

Guest post by Loaf

CIMG0720.JPGSo, I had inauguration day off, and my partner Luck was at work, and I was high on patriotic pride and seeing my dress pinned and properly floofy, so I had the confidence to try this first major DIY project alone! First I washed the crinoline, since it was dirty from my sweat as I tried it on, and who knows who else had tried it on. Since it has to be wet when you dye it, I figured washing it first would be the easiest.

As the crinoline was washing, I started mixing the Sunshine Orange dye. Michael's only had the powdered dye in a color I wanted, so I followed the directions and mixed two packages in two cups of hot water. I didn't want to use anything plastic in this process, since the Rit box said the dye will dye plastic. I did use plastic gloves, but I didn't care about those changing colors.


Then I followed the directions on the box, filling the machine full of hot water, mixing in a tablespoon of detergent, and the dye (I mixed it around with a long-handled spoon when I mixed the dye) and put in the crinoline.


And I checked on it every 3 minutes, to untwist it and move it around in the washer to make sure it was getting an even dye job.


I think 3 minutes was the right amount, because every time I checked it, it was completely twisted again. And it kept me paying attention so I had time to reset the machine back to repeat a cycle, since you have to have the fabric in the dye at least 30 minutes before you start to rinse.


It's kind of a tiring and boring process, but at only 10 minutes in, the crinoline is already the perfect color, so I think using the two boxes was just right. It does seem like you will occasionally need to take the entire damn thing out of the washer to untangle it. So I rigged up (with clippy magnets) a towel device that would protect me and the floor. (Yes, my wall got covered too. And there is Luck's Mt. Dew addiction on display).



This took way longer than I thought it would and, aside from setting the timer every three minutes so I could untangle, I didn't keep track of the time, so it's possible that the crinoline got extra soaking time. I also skipped a second rinse and just rinsed it once, then washed it with an extra rinse and tried it for just a little bit before I hung it up in the bathroom to air dry. I'm really excited and I think it looks so great and will be a really great surprise and pop of color. It is really fucking orange. But I like it! I'm all about bright colors. As Luck likes to say (about both of us), we're like an accident in a crayon factory, as brightly colored as our wardrobes and lives tend to be!

Oh, and I got completely covered in water, so I'm really glad I changed into old clothes while doing this. And I switched to a gentle cycle, because part of the slip seemed to be fraying and the color felt saturated enough. For someone who hates doing laundry, this is not exactly a fun process, especially considering I just spent $50 on the slip. I know I could've found one cheaper, but I was standing there in the dress and it looked perfect with the slip and It was just so much easier….WIC 1, Loaf 0. (Well Probably WIC 2 or 3 since I went to DB to have my alterations done…again, it just seemed easier! and the woman was very sweet.)

Anyway, here is the crinoline fresh out of the washer:




Going into the dryer:


When I threw the crinoline in to dry, I threw into the washer the grey drip towel, some rags I used to wipe up spills and my socks that got orange drips on them along with some bleach and Tide to clean out the washer. I think it will be fine. It didn't seem stained at all.

And fresh out of the dryer!


With my wedding shoes:

(you can see the edge of my fleur de lys toe tattoo here)

A close-up of the lace edging:


Now my dilemma is whether or not to share this with Luck…if I do, I'll have to confess that I have a new dress. But I'm really not sure how to hide it…it's a lot bigger than I thought I would need, but under the dress, it's perfect. It makes me love my dress even more, because I really did want the poufy crinoline. I mean, I never dress up, so when I do, I want to go all out!

Comments on How to dye your crinoline

  1. Remember that in order for the dye to work, your crinoline needs to be made from natural fibers, such as cotton, linen, or silk. Rayon and nylon will also dye (rayon is made from cellulose and nylon has similar structure to silk, so both will dye much like natural fibers) but if your crinoline is made polyester, it will not accept the dye.

    • In sweden were i live they sell special polyester dyes. Maybe thats worth checking in to?

      • I’m late to the party here, but for future reference, I’ve had good success with the dye packets Dharma Trading Company sells. I used the natural fiber ones to dye silk scarves for my mum for Christmas.

  2. I read your blog, it made me cry. Seriously. Congratulations to you both for finding such a special shining love. I really like your poetry! (I write too)

    I’ve been wondering how to dye mine without blotching it all to hell.

    LOVE the orange!!!!

  4. Almost forgot- a tip for brides who are dying stuff in their tubs- be ready to remove a stain! The best way to remove dyes from most tub surfaces is bleach. Run HOT water in the stained tub to fill it about half way. Add an entire gallon bottle of pure bleach to the hot water and let it soak for 30mins to an hour (depending on how dark the stain is.) Drain the tub and gently scrub the tub with a Brillo pad. Rinse with hot water and the tub will be back to it’s normal color.

  5. OMG, I’m on OBB! 🙂

    Thanks, y’all, for your feedback. This was my first DIY project, and I’m really pleased with it.

    The box of dye I used said it was not for use in a plastic bathtub, so I think you might have to bleach your tub if you do the tub method.

    I originally wanted a green crinoline, but decided I should mix in my FW’s fave color a bit, too.

    Now the hardest part is hiding it from her so it’s a surprise on the wedding day!

  6. This craft project is GREAT! Although I don’t ever see my lazy self doing it, its awesome to see that it can be done and how. THANKS!!!

  7. i actually might have to do this to my great grammas dress because it is entirely of the bottom inside half of your skirt fabric. that see thru material but beaded…very 1920s i think. but very dirty looking. i have no idea what color because i am so traditional, wanting white or at least off white. i need to look up colors, thanks for this post!

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