Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Aging polyester

Expand Messages
  • Susan
    I am trying to match material on an old dress. It is white polyester that, due to age, is just slightly yellowed (only if held up to new white). Is there a
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 27, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      I am trying to match material on an old dress. It is white polyester that, due to age, is just slightly yellowed (only if held up to new white).

      Is there a way to age new white polyester? I know polyester doesn't take dyes well, plus a dye would be unlikely to get the effect of aging.

      I have heard of tea dying to age natural fabrics, but would polyester take it?

      Anyone have any experience on this subject?

      Susan
    • Cat Devereaux
      ... take dyes well, plus a dye would be unlikely to get the effect of aging. I have heard of tea dying to age natural fabrics, but would polyester take it? Ah
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 27, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        >> Is there a way to age new white polyester? I know polyester doesn't
        take dyes well, plus a dye would be unlikely to get the effect of aging.
        I have heard of tea dying to age natural fabrics, but would polyester
        take it?

        Ah one of my favorite topics... mangling fabric! I know that I've
        posted this before.... but will do it to your specifics.

        >>I am trying to match material on an old dress.

        Are you replacing a panel? Adding a section? What? If you're adding
        something right next to another, it's much harder because the match has
        to be very close, or look like a "feature".

        Differences??? Color, and I think you're implying "hand" as well??

        I remember on my sister's wedding dress trying to find enough "dotted
        lace". I found fabric from 3 different time periods over probably 20
        years, 1 cotton and two polly. Each were VERY different.


        If the replacement fabric you have is only "somewhat" different, you've
        got a chance.

        Snip off a sample big enough to see what the original fabric was acting
        like so you know where you started.

        If you're not sure, or the fabric is listed dry clean only, wash a good
        sized sample w/ a regular load to see if it does a massive crinkle).

        You might be able to get the hand to match (ie make the modern fabric
        hang better). To do this you need to beat up your fabric. Start w/
        more fabric than you're going to need, a quarter or third. You want
        to get (All in white or neutral) a 2-3 tennis balls (or other small
        washable laundry things), a pair of old tennis shoes (or deck shoes) w/
        no velcro, a bath towel.

        Take and stuff those items w/ your fabric into the washer, hot water,
        extra spin, heavy soil... ie everything but the kitchen sink. Stuff it
        all in the dryer, hot, more dry. Back to the washer, then the dryer,
        then stop and look at the fabric. How's it draping? Closer? If yes...
        wash, repeat until you get there.

        Organza won't get there, but some other pollys will. A wool will full
        and thicken a lot, just the opposit. A polly blend with natural fiber
        welf may turn into a crinkle.)

        Warning, if you're doing this with something fragile like net or lace,
        this heavy handed method may create a few tears. You just cut around
        them. My sister's fabric could almost stand on it's own before washing
        and beating, it became lovely soft and drappy w/ only one small tear.

        Don't laugh, this method does amazing aging. (And if you accidentally
        get a krinkle, it's wonderful for doing a period outfit you'd like to
        make out of a knit... 'cause you get stretch built in w/ a woven fabric.)

        OK... back to yours. Beating the polly almost always does give you a
        better hand and doesn't destroy the fabric. Most stuff I buy gets some
        version of this treatment.


        Color... actually you may be able to do this at the same time...

        Tea dye -- different teas give you different colors... the standard
        Lipton floor sweeping, er tea bag give a pretty good aging effect. A
        green tea gives a bit more of a yellow but may be too bright. Black
        goes more to a tan. Herbal teas, will vary, but are worth the try.

        The fabric should go though a heavywash cycle first to get all the
        sizing off the fabric. Then test bits. Time them. Rinse and let dry
        since dry will be lighter. You want to get darker than you originally
        want since you're going to yank out some.

        After you've got the color or a bit darker, you can hit it in wash
        cycles to tone it down a bit. An oxy add-in will take tea out to
        varring degrees, but is less effect after it's been though the dyer.

        Another odd options... on the mail dress, can you add bluing to it to
        get it back to whiter?

        Yes, this is time and work, especially the first time you do it...
        (after that, it becomes a game to beat the fabric)... but it can be very
        rewarding for something you really like.


        For everyone else still reading... this is a fab way to give cheap
        modern fabrics a better look for richer fabrics.

        -Cat-
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.