Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm *dyeing* over here

Hello there! Remember me...I used to post here semi-regularly? I'm coming back from a much needed break and really excited to share some inspiration, DIYs, and other news in the coming weeks. First off, I'm having a baby (rather soonish, due date is in 2 weeks) and have been in a nesting frenzy. One of the home projects I did a few weeks ago was to over-dye a wool persian-style runner I had picked up over a year ago at a flea market. I wasn't crazy about the colors in the rug and looked to ABC and Anthropologie's over-dyed rugs for inspiration. I love how the strong color simplifies a more ornate pattern. To me this is the perfect mix of vintage and modern.

Here are a few examples of ABC and Anthro's rugs, which start at $2,900 for a 6x9. I spent $125 for the runner and about $4 for the dye. Even though I wasn't able to achieve the vibrancy of ABC's color reform rugs, I'm completely happy with the transformation. I suspect they bleach the pattern out a little before applying the dye, but I was afraid this might turn my wool rug slimy. Also some of their rugs have a very low-pile which may be the result of shaving it down.




1. Soak rug in bath tub in cold water. Temperature is important with wool rugs, if you are unsure of what kind of fibers your rug is made of I'd stick with cold. If you are sure it's 100% cotton I'd use very hot water.

2. Add dye. I used a powder dye from an amazing place called Aljo that's located in Tribeca. They have a good website and their customer service is excellent. They'll answer any questions you have over the phone or in person. I mixed up the powder in liquid before adding to the bathtub to make sure it dissolved. I also used rubber gloves and a mask anytime I was coming in contact with the first! If you get a chance to stop in at Aljo I'd highly recommend it- here are some snaps from my visit, very cool place.

3. Agitate dye bath and let rug soak until desired color is achieved. Remember that about 25% of the color will wash out while you are rinsing so account for that. I let this rug sit in the dye bath for about 2 hours and agitated every 20 minutes or so.

4. Rinse out the rug with cold water. This is quite a physical process, even for my 2'x5' runner. I think this step is what would prevent me from dyeing anything larger than that. Of course, if you are lucky enough to have a backyard you could take the rug out back and spray it off with a hose (though I'm sure dye isn't great for lawns).

5. Let dry completely, will probably take a few days.



1 comment:

  1. Wow what a fantastic result! I have an absolutely gorgeous rug I bought in Morocco that my puppy has stained multiple times. It's not really salvagable as it is now but I'm very tempted to try overdying it instead. Any tips? xx

    Anna (My Design Ethos)