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Petticoats are wonderful. But they come in such limited colours, really. Even the Layered Tulle Petticoat’s seven colours and the Mid-Length Petticoat’s three new colours still don’t add up to enough colours. What about brown? Or grey?!
Well, for science, I grabbed three different fiber blends of petticoats to see how well they dye. Here are the petticoats I picked:
As you can see, they cover the bases from 100% nylon (easy enough to dye) to 100% polyester (much trickier to dye).
Now, I’ve dyed things for the Sock Journal before, pretty much always using RIT dye. I like using RIT because you can pick it up at big supermarkets or tiny local craft stores. It’s pretty accessible and not that expensive, when it comes to dye. It’s made to work best on nylon and cotton blends, which means I had to get fancy for the polyester fiber in some of these petticoats. That means I finally had an excuse to use iDye Poly, which is made for nylon and polyester fibers!
With all my dye and dyeables at hand, I was ready to add some colour! Or, um, grey. Specifically RIT’s Pearl Grey liquid dye. Because I really wanted a grey petticoat. The 100% nylon Lace Petticoat was my control. I’ve dyed nylon bunches, so I had an idea of how it’d turn out.
Here’s a quick guide on the weight of the petticoats I’m using.
- The Lace Petticoat and Puffy Chiffon Mini Petticoat are both just around one-third a pound.
- The Mid-Length Petticoat is about 4/10ths a pound, but I’m treating it like a half-pound for math easiness.
Remember, folks who dye, you can always drop us a line and ask how much something weighs, so you can calculate your dye. Since we ship things, we always have those numbers at hand!
Due to the sheer fluff of the petticoats involved, I had to use the “big ol’ bucket” method of dyeing, which is putting the hottest water safe for the fabric into a five gallon bucket and adding your dye to that. I also added vinegar, which helps dye sink into and stick on nylon fiber.
As a refresher: thoroughly wet what you’re dyeing, prep your dye, add the thing you’re dyeing, agitate & wait! I gave this petticoat 20 minutes in the dye bath.
How did it turn out? Oh, you will see!
It’s getting cold and you want a taller sock or stocking. Either under pants, or with shorts (because summer never dies in our hearts!), or so you can keep wearing skirts but keep covered. For style, comfort or curiosity reasons, you want to try a thigh high. You’ve got your measurements in hand and the Advanced Search limited to “thigh high”, so now what?
We haven’t had a “What is a . . .” breakdown of thigh highs yet, partly because they’re so mutable! Personal taste, inseam and thigh circumference all come into play when walking that definition between a sock that falls “over the knee” and a sock that is truly “thigh high.” So, for the sake of this imaginary shopping plunge you’re about to take, let’s say you want a sock that falls at least in the middle of your thigh.
Extraordinarily Longer styles
Let’s start with a gimmie. The Extraordinarily Longer Thigh Highs have a length and stretch that we’ve yet to beat. Their cuffs stretch to 27 inches comfortably and are nice and wide, so they aren’t as prone to biting into those soft spots on your leg. At 31 inches from heel to the top of the cuff, unstretched, they have enough length to go up even long, full legs (the more a style stretches around, the less length it often has). They also come in stripes!
I know, they also cost $20, which is a big investment. You can get packs of three knee highs for $8 at your local department store. But our Dreamer Socks are made to our specifications, based on observations on sock fit made over a decade. We really love and believe in our Extraordinarily Longer Thigh Highs and when folks ask us “what should my first thigh high be?” the first reaction of a Dreamer is “these!!” With a foot size range that goes from a US women’s shoe size 7 (a men’s 5) to a men’s shoe size 12 (a women’s 14), they’re kind of a sock dream come true.
I asked my fellow Dreamers what thigh high (excluding the Extraordinarily Longers) what they’d recommend to a person looking for their first truly tall sock and I’ve got their answers for you after the jump!
Good ol’ brown. Now, I mean brown-brown, not tan or beige (which are their own thing in our Color Search). Deep, earthy, bark-like, ranging from cool to warm, brown is a great “neutral” shade for when you don’t want to go black or navy or grey.
You’ll see, as we look at the different supplier’s browns, that there are definitely some dye batch differences that exist within brown, but everybody can fall into a pretty clear family of umbers, chocolates, earthy loams and red. I think in this post, the images of each brand’s array of browns is closest to spot-on for colour accuracy.
Brown seems very mutable, and reflects the colours it is next to or knit with quite strongly. See the difference in how the colour presents between the white elastic of the O Chevrons and the black elastic of the B Chevrons below!
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define brown. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of brown, both Wikipedia and the Color Sorting Wiki are kind of amazing resources. I’ve done my best to accurately represent these hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t. That said, let’s get down to it!
Oops, I forgot to include the Dreamer Socks’ Extraordinary Thigh Highs in Dark Brown here, but they’re just a touch richer than the Dark Brown in the Dream Stockings styles. Earth is nice and cool-yellow and I love the Coffee nylon hue, so rich!
Ooh boy. Not only does B.Ella offer “Espresso” “Chocolate” and plain ol’ “Brown”, there’s some variation within each colour (both the tights on the far left and far right are “Espresso”). It does mean a gorgeous range of hues, though.
From left to right: Patricia Merino Crochet Tights, Meg Unconstricted Top Crew, Trentata Italian Trouser Sock, Pantera Jersey Dress Midcalf, Gregorio Wool Bootsocks, Vera Recycled Cotton No Show, Bastia Comfort Top Crew, Codori Crochet Tights
Either deep or chocolately-basic, Cronert keeps it simple with two very good representations of brown.
EG Smith tries to keep it simple with just a simple “Brownie” and a heather. But, as you can see between the two boot sock styles (with the same fiber content) below, there’s variation. We keep our images updated the best we can when dealing with dye batch differences like this. The Sockling and the Solid OTK are pretty much the same hue, on the other hand.
Not normally one to offer a full range of hues, Foot Traffic brings it home with a pretty selection of browns from loamy to umber to chocolate. The colour variation in Brown between the Opaque Solid Nylon Trouser Socks and the Solid Opaque Thigh Highs seems to be that the former is 80% microfiber nylon and the latter is 90% plain ol’ nylon.
From left to right: Super Long Ribbed Leg Warmer, Fleece Lined Knee Highs, Opaque Solid Nylon Trouser Socks, Solid Opaque Thigh High, Signature Cotton Tights, Signature Cotton Tights, Cotton Lace Anklets
Nouvella’s colour consistency is a little uneven when it comes to browns, with the widest range between dye batches. Below you can see two different dye batches of the Nouvella Cotton Leggings in Brown. What a difference! We try to catch all changes we can so we can keep our images updated.
For once, Tabbisocks does not dominate a colour with a masterful array! Their brown tends towards maroon (except for their Color Tights, which are nice and cool, a rather umber-y chocolate).
Lots of browns show up as single examples across different brands.
Okay, after the jump, let’s look at the variations within the variations of brown!
You know when you get a new wooly sock and there are those almost microscopic little hairs poofing up from the stitches? That’s loosely called “halo.” Angora has a very marked halo, that’s what makes it so warm! Even some synthetic fibers that are made to imitate wool, like acrylic, have a bit of halo. It’s what can cause itchies for some folks—though everyone has different ways wool can be itchy.
Halo is also part of what makes wooly (and fake wooly acrylic) so great in so many temperatures, too. Those little fibers trap air that keeps the cold out and the warm in (and it works the opposite way too, I swear!).
Combined with blooming, which is when yarn puffs up to make a fuller and fuzzier look after washing, halo is part of what can make a sock so very fluffy-soft or hairy-scratchy, depending on your skin’s sensitivities. As a wool sensitive person, I like that acrylic can imitate that fluffy specialness of wool. Take a gander below!
The Super Long Ribbed Leg Warmers and the Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers are another great example of acrylic halo. The Charcoal are obviously fuzzy, with those little white “hairs”, but the black are just as fuzz—they’re being all stealth about it. All the colours of both styles have a bit of halo, with the Ivory having the least (but still having some).
Of course, that’s not the case for all acrylic styles. Our O Dreamy and Super Dreamy styles also have almost no halo. The Foot Traffic and Leg Avenue acrylic OTKs and thigh highs are super soft, but smooth, with none of the wooly halo.
And wool can have very little halo too. Wool crochet-like styles tend to be smoother and don’t bloom as much after washing and wearing.
Angora has enough halo that adding even tiny bits of it can add to a style’s overall fuzzy halo feel. The Kimi Wool Blend OTKs, like a lot of B.Ella’s angora blends, only has 6% of this fuzzy fiber in it, but combined with 8% cashmere it makes for just the right amount of super soft halo to keep cozy as the days grow cold.
More microscopic than what we call “fuzzy or furry”, the halo found in wool and acrylic blends adds to the warmth and coziness and their beautiful bloom that builds as they’re washed and worn adds to the experience.
I know I said that Yellow was an under-represented colour, but Orange shows up even less. Once you take “rust” and “spice” out of the equation (which I did with Red as well), there’s hardly enough to count. Look at how well they all fit in this one bin, not a bit of spillover!
As I’m saving pastels and neons for another day, we’ll just focus on that delicious crayon-orange. There are lighter shades and brighter shades and ones that dance the edge of rust, but overall it’s a pretty straightforward colour.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define orange. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of red, both Wikipedia and the Color Sorting Wiki are kind of amazing resources. I’ve done my best to accurately represent these hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t. That said, let’s get down to it!
As our Dreamer Socks only enlist orange in a spice/rust variant, it’s just Dream Stockings that offer orange as an option. The nylon version is definitely more of a red orange, while the cotton Sherbet and Tangerine have a yellow undertone.
An outrageous orange that battles your monitor’s capabilities of rendering it accurately, EG Smith’s orange is slightly more vibrant in their Ribbed Bootsock.
Now, I’m showing the Striped OTK in Black & Neon Orange just so you can have a good comparison against the Black & Pumpkin. Word on the street is that the Black w/Pumpkin is being discontinued, more’s the pity.
Suprisingly, Tabbisocks, who offers ALL the colours, only has about one representation of plain ol’ orange. It’s a good, reliable orange. Bright, but not glaring. The arm and leg warmers aren’t an exact match (totally different fiber content will do that), but they match well enough to be worn together, since they’re on totally different ends.
There are some scattered representations of orange throughout our suppliers. They tend to range carefully in straight up “orange” if they’re not fully embracing spice and rust.
Oh, and this pretender
You may be doubting me when I say that rust and spice are their own thing and shouldn’t be counted with orange. I think a great example of how different rust can be is shown in the Jellies Arm Cozies in “Orange.” Ma’am that is rust.
After the jump, let’s take a gander at the loose sub-categories of orange that exist even in this small a sample of styles!