DIY: Resistance Dyeing

DIY: Resistance Dyeing

One of my favorite places to go in the summer is the Randolph Street Market. It has tons of vendors who sell vintage and handmade products from furniture to clothes to plastic doll heads (?). They have the best food around and live bands.

This year, I purchased a vintage slip for a whopping $5. I had looked at a few pieces from a vender that were lightly dyed girly, lacy dresses, giving them a vintage, re-purposed feel. At around $40 a pop, I figured I could make my own.

I ended up finding a plethora of lace slips a few booths away. SCORE! I picked a relatively plain one since I planned on using a dark colored dye and didn’t want it to look too busy.

vintage slip

If I had the necessary tools, I would have dyed in the proper Shibori technique, which is also called “resistance dyeing” (see here at Honestly WTF ). Unfortunately, I didn’t have a pvc pipe at my disposal. Instead, I twisted the whole slip into a long rope and tied sections about an inch apart. Just wrap the yarn really tight so the fabric doesn’t untwist.


For the actual dyeing, I used RIT dye in navy blue which almost always turns out purple. Since my slip is not actual silk and probably some synthetic polyester material, I added a bit of vinegar to the dye. This makes the fabric take to the dye a lot easier. Follow the instructions on your dye packet or bottle… or just make up proportions like me. Dye is dye, right?


I only left the dress in the dye for about 5 minutes and it turned out super dark. Wash wash wash the dye out in the sink forever until the water runs clearish. Then hang it up to dry. 


I was amazed with my outcome. It’s probably the coolest thing I’ve ever dyed. I wish I had gotten more of these slips just so I could try out different techniques. Like??

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