A number of you recommended I try Rit Color Remover after yesterday's fiasco, and try dyeing my shirts again.
I happened to be near the Garment District today and was able to pick up two boxes of the stuff. I'm so glad I did.
The directions were pretty simple: I heated a big pot of water to simmering, added the powder, presoaked the shirts and then added them to the pot. Each was in about fifteen minutes. They were subsequently rinsed (a lot) and will be machine washed tonight.
I did each shirt separately and stirred constantly with a pair of tongs. Right away I noticed that the contrasting purplish collar stand on what had been the solid beige shirt faded to a nearly identical beige, while the beige-dyed-maroon(ish) faded to a pale beet, for lack of a better term.
Wet it looked like this:
It subsequently dried to this; no streaks or blotches, I'm happy to say.
It's faded looking but SO much better than what I had yesterday. Here's the original shirt, btw:
On the plaid shirt, the blue faded to gray and the orange faded to cocoa brown. Yesterday's fuchsia is, thankfully, history.
The original color:
Which yesterday looked like this: blotchy.
I may try dyeing once again, but perhaps this time with Rit dyes, which seem a little easier to work with; I could see myself dyeing both a denim blue. Or maybe I'll give the Procion dyes another go, but one at a time, for longer, and with much more stirring.
As much as I tried to convince myself I could pull off that Wabi-sabi effect, I would never have worn those shirts the way they looked after yesterday's experiment. Now, at least, they're wearable.
Thanks for all the useful information you provided; I have so much to learn about dyeing.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!