Adventures in dyeing a lace parasol, Part 2

Continued from Part 1

Lace ParasolStarting materials:
Black and white lace parasol
Crimson Rit dye
Wine Rit dye
plastic bucket
bath tub




Before getting to the wet part of dyeing the fabric, I had to separate the fabric from the metal frame. At certain points, the lace and fabric were secured onto the metal parasol frame by some stitching like this:


I cut and removed the threads from each point, two per frame arm. After all these points of thread were cut, I could easily pull the fabric away from the frame.

Fabric and Lace pulled away from the frame

Time to dye! Mostly following the instructions on the Rit dyes’ packaging, I partly filled my bucket with hot water from the bath tub spout. Using the handle and frame as my handles, I soaked the lace and fabric in the hot water to prepare it for the dye bath.

My original plan was to mostly use Crimson dye and add a little bit of Wine dye to get the color I wanted, but when I poured my crimson dye into the bucket, there was barely any there at all. Um, oops. I went ahead and emptied out the bottle of crimson dye, then added what I figured would be enough wine dye to get a nice thorough color. I then dipped the fabric into the dye still using the wooden handle and metal frame as my handle and also kind of the stir stick.

Fabric and Lace into the dye bath

I agitated the dye by the handle of my bucket, swirling it around a bit, and I turned the fabric often, trying to keep from accidentally dunking the wooden handle into the dye. Although the wood shaft is sealed, I didn’t want to chance it taking any of the dye.

Fabric and Lace color from the dye bath

After twenty minutes in the dye, it looked great! The color looked exactly like I wanted it, just all wet and shiny. I poured the water and dye mix down my bath tub’s drain, supplementing it with running water to try to keep from turning the tub pink.

After a ridiculous amount of rinsing the dye out of the fabric, I made the assumption that although I probably shouldn’t dunk the metal frame into water, it probably won’t hurt it if I go ahead and stretch the lace and fabric over it to let it dry out easiest. So I wrung out the fabric to at least keep as much of it from dripping down the metal frame as possible and hooked the fabric and lace back over the metal spokes.

Dyed Lace Parasol still wet

I set it out on the porch fully open so that the stupidly hot Austin heat could dry out the fabric quickly. Unfortunately, someone ordered up a thunderstorm about two minutes after I set it on the porch! I moved the parasol back inside to keep it from getting soaked by the rain and thrashed by the wind, leaving it in the kitchen overnight to dry.

Check out the results I got dyeing my parasol here in part three!


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