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Posts Tagged ‘dye’
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The beginning of August marks the mid-point between the summer solstice and autumnal equinox, signifying the height of summer here in the Pacific Northwest. The warm season is in full-swing, so why not reap the benefits while you can? All those backyard barbeques, picnics in the park, and excursions to the seaside wouldn’t be complete without incorporating summer’s fresh bounty of produce. So many delightful fruits and veggies crop up this time of year that it’s hard to choose a favorite. One fruit, however, gets its very own month of recognition! August has been National Peach Month since 1982 and it’s easy to see why! Peaches are a summer staple and we have some peachy-keen items to help you celebrate this wonderful fruit all year.
One of the key characteristics of most peaches is their signature fuzzy exterior. This velvety coat doesn’t come on all peaches, but it is a dominant trait that provides a tactile aspect to enjoying this great fruit. Our selection of velvet items includes wrist warmers, gloves, and leggings. Though we don’t currently offer any resembling the color, they’re all pretty peachy!
On the left, we have a pair of Black & Gold Velvet Wrist Warmers from Polonova, a Portland-based company that specializes in screen-printing beautiful, ornate designs. There are a few velvet items from this company and they are gorgeous, every one. Next, for those of us that wish for a longer, more luxurious look, there are the Black Velvet Opera Length Gloves from Leg Avenue. Lastly, on the right we have the purrfect Leopard Velvet Leggings from K. Bell (which also come in a solid black version).
Sure, the peach fuzz trait is pretty easy to identify, but the color peach itself can be tricky; with over 700 different varieties of peaches in this world, the spectrum is pretty broad. A quick internet search will provide a fluid palette of tones varying from pastel orange to a pale, pinky-yellow. Additionally, as dreamer Brenna already discussed in both our Orange and Pastel Spotlights, light orange isn’t a very popular color among socks. While there is a wide range of the color peach, there aren’t a whole lot of socks in our collection that necessarily fit that description.
First, we have a pair of the Mango Solid Opaque Nylon Trouser Socks from Foot Traffic. We just love this particular shade of yellow-orange because it is so reminiscent of the sticky, sweet interior of a ripe Yellow Peach! Next up are the Sherbert O Basics and the Rust Orange Knees, both of which are from our Dream Stockings house-brand. While there’s no denying the Sherbert O Basics are a lovely punched-up peach color, the stripes of the Rust Orange Knees add quite the visual interest and are a nod to the signature blush on peach skin. Last, we have the Coney Space Dyed Over the Knee Stockings from E.G. Smith; a more artistic take on the fruit, the beauty of space-dyed items lies in each pair looking just a little different than the last, much like the beloved treat itself.
While all these items truly convey peachy qualities, none of them are quite on the softer, pastel side. In order to come up with a more delicate shade, we decided to try our hand at dyeing a pair ourselves. We’ve covered dyeing socks several times in our Sock Journal; from the basics onto various techniques, such as matching stockings to skin tone or coloring specific products like petticoats or nylon items. Personally, I have very little experience in dyeing clothes pastel colors, as the majority of my dyeing experiments have only incorporated dark colors. Thank goodness dreamer Brenna suggested I check out a brilliant resource on Rit Dye‘s website! Their Color Library had a plethora of tips and archived color combinations, which helped in creating the perfect peach formula! After we found Rit’s Peach Color Formula to be a little pink-er than we’d aimed for, we switched up the amounts of dye to create a different concoction. Both the Ivory Dreamy Bamboo Patterned Crews and the Natural & White A Chevrons made for great color studies, as their distinctive patterns showed up in a particularly lovely way!
No matter how you like them (fresh off the tree, baked in a cobbler, puréed in ice cream, or canned at home) we hope that you enjoy a peach or two this season, if you can! It has been pretty sweet sharing our rocking good times with all you wonderful dreamers out there and we hope the second half of your summer is just as nice, if not better, than the first!
It’s easy enough to say what white is not, it’s not supposed to be a colour and it’s not “off-white” (which is a problematic colour to pin down anyway). But even so, when it comes to actual objects, whites have a colour cast that can be frustrating when you’re trying to colour match.
I’d say white is actually one of the toughest colours to match, purely because there is so little colour to work with. But even if this white doesn’t match that white, that doesn’t make it off-white! Ideal white is almost an impossible thing in clothing. In manufacturing tints of blue are often added to the process to balance the inherent yellow-warmth of most fibers and trick the eye into thinking the white is more true.
Easily influenced by what’s around it, due to pure power of reflectiveness, its mutability can be tricky. The only difference in the O Chevrons below is that the left sock has black elastic and the right sock has white. But the yarn of the sock on the left looks grey!
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define white. It’s a very scientific colour, really, and if you want more on it, Wikipedia has the starter details. I’ve done my best to accurately represent these non-hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t.
Now, let’s float off into the nothing and everything that is white!
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
We have two variations of white. The cotton blends that make up most of our socks are a clean, blue-hinting white. The nylon yarn in the N40s have a yellowy-green undertone next to bluer whites, though they become brilliantly so-bright-who-cares-how-white outside.
The only variance to the softer, clean-cotton tint of B.Ella’s white is the Meg, with their nylon blend and tiny kiss of cool colour.
Though they call their white “Miracle White” EG Smith often has slight batch differences across the same fiber, when it comes to white. There’s some trickiness to it we’ll talk about later.
With a yellow tint to their acrylic blends, Foot Traffic’s white mostly sings pure and clean, particularly in their nylons!
With most of their white in satin, lace and utter fluffery, Leg Avenue’s whites tend to have more lustre and warmth by sheer default, though they’re still a touch bluer than a cottony tee.
Brightly blue-ish, for the most part, Tabbisocks does a solid job of keeping their whites in a narrow range. There’s some that are more yellow, some that are brighter, but overall they’re closer than most.
Every brand offers something in white. Overall, if you only make one or two things in white, you make them a little bluer and cleaner.
Matching whites is the hardest thing, let’s look at some whites next to a super light off-white—how they compare is going to differ based on your monitor, the lighting and even how your individual eyes physically work (some eyes see yellow more easily, some see blue more easily!).
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!
This has been a month of nylons, hasn’t it? There’s something really fantastic about them and how they visually smooth out your skin, making your legs look even more fabulous. Of course, that illusion works best if your stockings are a similar tone as your skin. People come in a lot of different shades, so it is rather frustrating that most companies that make the nylons we sell only offer lighter shades of beige. And some even call the colour “nude”! Which makes no sense and is why we use the word “beige” for those colours. We are constantly telling our suppliers that we want more shades and though we’re seeing a teeny bit of forward progress, we just don’t know when more than beige will be a regular option.
The Dance Theatre of Harlem dyes their dancers’ tights and shoes to match their skin, which creates that classic ballet visual of uninterrupted line. You can see some samples of their work in the picture for this LA Times article. To create the classic visual of nylon stockings that perfectly match and melt into your skin, we can do the same thing. I’ve gone over some basic dyeing techniques here before, so I know you know how to do it. But which colours? What dye?
For these examples and as a general suggestion, I recommend RIT dye. If you live near a craft store, they’ve got it, in all the colours. Supermarkets and Wal-Marts also often carry RIT dye and, more often than not, offer all the colours. It’s easy to use and not that expensive, plus their site is a great resource, with a Colour Formula Guide to reference once you feel comfortable enough to mix up some magic (and it is magic, there’s a warm brown there that is made of their Sunshine Orange and Navy, somehow, so cool!).
Like I said earlier, people come in a lot of different shades and, if you’re going to dye-to-match then you’ll want to get it just how you want it. I suggest picking up some of the pantyhose that come in an egg and experimenting with those, so mistakes can be made cheaply before you customise stockings you love. For the experiments below I used the Sheer Backseams with Lace Top, though, because hey, we’re fancy.
Those gorgeous shades are all straight-from-the-box, no mixing! I’ll give you the vitals and some tips after the jump.
I’ve shown you the basics of dyeing socks and how easy it is. All you need is a box of dye and some hot water. But what about styles that aren’t cotton blends? What about non RIT dye options? Well just you wait. Nothing dyes quite as wonderfully as nylon.
You can use RIT on nylon easy. Use our search to find a white nylon style, I’ve even queued up the search terms just for you! If you’re using RIT, it’s okay if it’s a fiber blend, since this dye is made to work on cotton and nylon blends. Just follow the directions on the package, or the DIY we shared with you earlier this year. So plain ol’ black and white Ribbed Pinstripe Leggings plus some RIT in Sunshine Orange can become these Halloween-tastic orange and black leggings! The dye won’t make any difference to the black stripes, so I’m free to choose what colours I want.
What’s wonderful about dyeing socks and tights is that when you can’t find the exact colour you want for something, you can make it!
Now, there is a fiber-specific way you can dye nylon, and there’s even an option at your grocery store! Join me after the jump for more nylon transformation!
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