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Off duty dress

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I've come across a rayon brown off duty dress with a few faded areas. I have noticed this on others I have seen so assume it's a common issue. Has anyone managed to dye one of these with good results?


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Yeah, it appears to be very common with the brown and I've had some awful ones. I've never had much luck in ANY dying attempt but would recommend using a professional the next time. The value of this dress is definitely there.

The next time I have a problem such as this I have decided to visit our university's Textile Department. They are always interested in vintage material and have the knowledge to make the correct decision. Just a suggestion.Good Luck!

Btw, if you need a belt made for it do so when dying the dress. Easy to make.


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It will "take" the dye but sometimes will slightly change the color of the faded area AND the other material color leaving still two different colors if that makes sense. i wonder if ALL the material can be given a "base" dye first and then everything dyed the correct color. Man, I'm just guessing here. My only experience is working with stains on wood and it's better to do a few things to the wood before staining it.

However, I DID date a girl in college who majored in Textiles.............


Let us know how it all turns out, please.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Phil, Fading on the rayon used in the time period was very common. When rayon was first popularized, it was considered a wonder fabric as it was lightweight, draped well, inexpensive, and took dye very well. The flaws in the fiber were only discovered some time later as the fabric's dye was actually attacked by pollution in the atmosphere itself. Sounds weird, I know. So the dye would go fugitive just while hanging in the closet, not to mention sunbleaching. The problem is fixed by adding a fixative after the dying process. Unfortunately the cost of doing that made rayon more expensive than other fabrics, thus the long term loss in popularity. But to your question. You can easily dye rayon. The problem is that the actual hue and shade will not be predictable. And you would have to wash the dress first to get rid of anything that would cause the dye not to take. Also rayon loses about 70% of its strength when wet and it could shrink like crazy. All in all I really wouldn't recommend it. However, I'm not an expert in that, only a Fashion Design graduate with "Fabrics 101" and some personal experience with dying under my belt! My personal question would be why do you want to dye it? For preservation only dying would not be necessary or advisable. Let me add I would be interesting in buying it in any condition or size if it is WWII.

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