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. I would also recommend checking out Dharma Trading Company for dyes; they have a lot of really great ones, all sorts of colors, and designed for different types of dyeing processes. I mention it because I used a Rit dye on a tank top a few months ago, and it’s starting to fade now, but the fabric my FH dyed bright red with the “fiber reactive” dye from Dharma Trading is still bright. I imagine that for a wedding outfit, since you’re probably not going to be washing and wearing it as much as a tank top, the Rit dye will last longer, but it’s just something to think about. Oh, and we used the bathtub method, too, instead of the washing machine. Our apartment also expressly forbids dyeing in the washing machine (and our bathtub still looks clean and white! no dye!).

  2. YAY! I was wondering if it would be possible to dye a crinoline green. Hurrah! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  3. It turned out so good!

    I dyed my crinoline tutu lavender for a burlesque show in December, but unfortunately live in an apartment and couldn’t use the washing machine so I did it in a bucket. Needless to say my results were not as pretty as yours haha.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to document everything! I was thinking about dying mine, so this was a very helpful article!

  5. Thanks so much! This is really helpful since I can’t find a coloured crinoline in that perfect green shade! Had I known it would be that easy I would have stopped searching months ago! This is a great idea.

  6. Ah! Why didn’t I think of this? I am totally dying mine bright purple now! Or perhaps hot pink…who cares if it won’t match, right?

  7. I have a red wedding dress and thinking of wearing that kind of slip but dont want white.. want to dye but have no idea what color! this encourages me to get one and dye it mmmm maybe hot pink? I have dyed other items before and used a big tote box for easier dyeing and used bleach to clean bath tubs afterwards since I live in an apartment that wont allow me to dye in their laundry mat washers too. thanks for the information and suggestions on here!!

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