Nat Dyes Linen Shorts

My favourite pair of shorts from summer 2019 still had some life in them for this summer. The only problem, they had faded so much in the wash I felt embarrassed to wear them. 

Out of nowhere I got the idea to dye them. They’d take dye being linen. Next step was buying the dye. I was convinced buying clothes dye in Spain would be hard. It wasn’t. My local supermarket had the colour I wanted, sky blue. 

Laundry colour faded before. These were once light blue

I put off for dying them for a few months thinking it’ll take a long time and finding the right moment. Sometimes there is no right moment. One day in July I decided to dye them, rather than keep looking at the box. 

Instructions. While I understood most of them, Google Translate helped with new words. The camera translate still needs work with some words. Blue Texas if you’re curious is denim. Green Oscuro, dark green.
What to expect from the dye

Dying them was so easy! Straight forward steps. I’m not sure I put enough salt in as I got distracted counting how many spoonfuls I was putting in (tip: if you’re dying items in the bathroom and have 2 toilets and others around, tell them to use the other bathroom. There was big eye roll moment of ‘Dude! Can’t you see what I’m doing?! Use the other bathroom!’). I thought the bathroom would be the best place to dye them. Easy clean up and the dye wouldn’t stain the bath. The box came with 2 packs of dye and one pack of fixer. Salt not included. The brand also does its own dying salt however as I was already feeling guilty over the toxins in the dye I used regular sea salt. Which is also cheaper. I used 1 pack of dye based on the weight of the shorts.

Bathroom set up with left over coffee body scrub which was cleaned later
40 minutes soak

It really was easy to dye them. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the amount toxins in the dye than ran off into the water system. I can’t imagine dying factories how much pollution they produce. Take a peek at the hazard warning labels.

Initial first dye dry, everything was bright blue. I trusted the process and the sky blue t-shirt image on the box that the end result would be sky blue. I threw in some white cotton face masks as I felt bad there was so much dye and toxins for just a pair of shorts. The masks came out well, much better than their original white colour I couldn’t keep white. 

First dry after dying
Face masks

Initial wash. Rather the use the washing machine as it’s new and not wanting the rubber seal dyed blue I opted for hand washing. Again so much dye run off. 

So much dye still coming out on initial wash before wearing

Et Voila! A new pair of shorts!

Almost the same as the original colour!

I pretty sure the final colour is more or less the same as the original colour. The box claimed the colour wouldn’t fade (no destiñe) or stain the washing machine. The first laundry after wearing I hand washed them with them with little dye run off. The subsequent washes I’ve machined washed and no further colour loss or dying of the machine or other items in the wash. In fact the colour is lasting longer laundering than the initial dye used. It didn’t cover stains from last year such as inside the waist band (sweat and sunscreen. Nice) which they said it wouldn’t. The only difference is the fabric isn’t as soft, but I think this is due to natural wear of type of linen and weave used. 

The masks however haven’t retained colour as much as the shorts. Thankfully they haven’t dyed any other items in the washing machine

The whole process was easy. So easy. I have a the exact same pair of shorts I purchased last year in lilac as I loved them so much to revamp as again the colour faded laundering. I’m putting that off as it’s light purple and I can only find deep purple dyes. I also want to tie dye a t-shirt but only if I can find less toxic, more environmentally friendly dyes. The only thing I’d do different is wear rubber gloves instead of latex gloves as they cover more of my arm. Latex gloves let some water in.

Have you hand dyed any items of clothing or shoes? I once dyed a pair of knock off Converses orange. I never wore them.  

New lease of life!

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