Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dying for decent dye

Is anyone else mourning the loss of their favourite little round regular pharmacy purchase? Dylon hot water dyes in the wee round tins are gone! I've been in love with those things for years and my line of reclaimed jersey felt flower brooches relies upon them.

Since their disappearance I've been struggling to find a decent, non-blotchy, affordable, non-messy alternative that I can preferably buy within walking or retro-Raleighing distance of my home. After discussions with other stall-holders at Stash reHash I know I am not alone in this quest.

Today in Christchurch it is a "holiday". (Does anyone else think there is a word missing from the English language, i.e. a word for a "holiday" when you have children, are are self-employed and work from home? Such "holidays" are simply days when no work gets done and sometimes get referred to around here as "hellidays" or "horrordays". There is certainly no resting, relaxation or real holidaying involved!) So today I decided that I shouldn't judge a dye by its packet - or price, as the replacement product is twice the price - and tried Dylon's new product. I fed the children an enormous lunch, set them up playing a three-hour board game (Settlers of Catan), put on one of my 16 pairs of gardening pants and set to.

The first issue is that Dylon must have its product design team housed on planet Lotsoftime as the new dyes require 15 minutes of constant stirring then 45 minutes of occasional stirring. The second issue is that if a dye-bath is any less than scalding temperature I just can't resist ditching my trusty dye-stick and sticking my hands in. The third issue is the sad result. One hour and $7.99 later I am the proud owner of a garment (op-shop purchase, great style, excellent fit, colour a wee bit dodgy...) so blotchy and streaky that only a tragic old hippy would wear it. Sigh.

Tomorrow night I am wearing my other new find-of-the-century op-shop purchase (perfect style and fit and thankfully also perfect colour) to a posh do. If you see me there please do not comment on the fact that my hands are now the same colour as those toes on the cigarette packets and instead skip straight to the bit where you give me your best fabric dye tips. Please? I'll pay you!


  1. Deirdre! it may be time to become a pro in your approach to dye and save yourselves OODLES of cash. Why not just go for the Lanaset dye or whatever the current wool brand is now, stock up on a selection of base colours and be set for YEARS!!!

    ps: I didn't know anyone else my age stuck their hands in, so thanks!