Lolita fashion’s thriving second hand market means that some of the clothes we wear have had long lives before they ever get to us. Clothes that are ten plus years old may come with some wear and tear. Stains and holes are within most lolitas’ power to fix, but what can you do about fabric that’s started to fade? Every gothic lolita’s nightmare is mismatching blacks and that problem is only compounded by age. For solid colored items, the answer is as simple as dyeing it.
I recently received an adorable Baby cutsew one piece dress that I believe is from 2003. The piece was in decent shape, but the cotton jersey had faded from black to a short of sad blue grey color. The cotton lace on the sleeves and neck line was still a dark black and made the whole thing look very worn. So I gathered some supplies to breath new life into this nearly 20 year old dress.
A few words of caution: lolita garments present unique challenges. Lace may not be the same material as the body of the dress and may react to dye differently. In the case of my dress, the lace had retained more of the dye than the fabric had, so there was no way I could make the contrast worse. However, if you’re dyeing a white dress a new color, you may end up with unexcepted results. If possible, test a small section on the interior of the dress to see how your lace and fabric take the dye.
These optional items help you achieve a darker color that won’t wash out. Check your own dye instructions for best results.
My dress doesn’t look like new, but it certainly looks better than before. It may be necessary to periodically repeat the dyeing process to keep your garment looking its best. Hopefully with these instructions, dyeing doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
By day, Jenna is a legal professional living in Los Angeles, California. By night (and weekends), she is a frill wearing monster who loves Innocent World and lolita indie brands. When she isn’t taking mirror selfies of her coordinates, she enjoys reading comic books, playing board games, and snuggling with her pup, Lily. You can see her mirror selfies on her instagram @lovelylaceandlies and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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