Day Project: Dyeing cotton stockings

I was fortunate a few years ago to find a great grouping of vintage seamed cotton stockings. They were in great unused condition so I snapped them allllll up. It was about 7 pairs or so. A few I've sold, but most I've kept. They are comfy, but horrible colors.
Next to my skin tone they make my legs look like thick carrots.

The dark brown ones I dyed a while ago. The bottom pair are the ones I'm dyeing. I want to get them into my normal rotation, so I decided to dye another pair to match my two-tone dress. The goal is to have cool colored stockings like in the 40s
when regular nylon was out of the question.

You'd see all sorts of colors for sale. Aimed at the youth, you could brighten up any outfit with a simple pair of cotton or silk colored stockings.
I broke out my pals.

The scarlet dye that I'm saving for my evening gown (I haven't forgotten about it). Some denim dye I forgot I had under the sink, and a big old thing of salt. I call it my craftin' salt.

Heated up the water and added about 1/4 cup of salt.

I just mixed a small batch of dye in a saucer pan (my only one) that I have. I played with the color a tad, adding a bit of the denim and also some yellow so it wouldn't get too purple.

I did a test dip with a paper towel and liked the results. It's like a salty staining soup.

After about 40 min of simmering, I drained the water and rinsed them about 5 times.

I then added salt to some cold water for a cold soak to set the dye. I did that twice then gave them a final rinse. Here they are hanging to dry.

After they dry, I'm going to give them a wash with a delicate soap to knock out the rest of the lingering dye.

I think they will work great with that dress.
This was practice because I bought two all cotton sweaters from LLBean and I'm totally going to change their colors.

6 comments:

  1. Dyeing is great fun!
    For your sweaters though, I'd recommend Procion MX dyes. They don't fade on cotton like Rit does. I've even dyed cotton dishcloths and they look just as bright as the first day! It's almost as easy as Rit, but way better quality. You'll see that you need "soda ash" and you can use 3x the amount of washing soda, or go to a pool supply store and buy pH Up (I think it's the up one). Can't wait to see how your sweaters turn out!

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  2. Have to confess I didn't know colored stockings were a "thing" in the 1940's, although I'm glad to know it because I've got a dress in the queue that really wants to be worn with purple ones. I mean, I could do it anyway, but why be more inauthentic than you have to be?

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  3. Tracy, Ive heard of that dye, but I've never thought to use it. They carry some at a fabric store I frequent. Perhaps Ill look into it :) Thanks.

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  4. I dyed a few T shirts years ago and I still wear some of them, but I found the process incredibly messy. I also can't handle those rubber gloves; they give me a rash. :(

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  5. The key to dyeing Ive found is stainless steel and glass. They are tough to stain. I hate the gloves, too. Like right now, it looks like my hands are cold because the tips of my fingers are redder than usual :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am terrified of dyeing something, but with this post I am tempted to try! Thanks for the pics ;)

    ReplyDelete

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