Repurposing Wedding Dress
  • I love my wedding dress. I feel wonderful in it and want other opportunities to feel that way. So I am planning to alter the dress--shorten it to tea length, remove some of the poofy tulle ;-), etc. I also want to dye and/or paint it. The dress is 100% polyester. Even after I shorten it, I think it will be too large to boil on the stove, (I am a large woman) so that eliminates the iDye Poly option, right? Or, would it still be possible to do in a washing machine if I don't mind a pastel color or if I use double the dye called for?

    I see there are several fabric paint options that can be sprayed on. I like the idea of painting a few simple images (a cluster of flowers) and then spraying a lighter color over them. Which fabric paint would be the best to use for a shiny polyester surface? I want the paint to look like it is part of the fabric, rather than sitting on the surface.

    Another thought I have had is to used gradient coloring on the top portion of the dress. Can I use a build up or color deepening process with any of the paints without making the fabric stiff?

    Thank you so much for your help with this!
  • The Idye poly option is out as you don't think you can get the water to a boil. That is absolutely necessary as the dye will not be permanent if you do it in the washer. Poly requires a true boil.

    In terms of soft paints you have 2 options. Dye na flow is a really nice soft paint that sinks into the fiber. It will look really good, but the polyester won't hold the paint as well as cotton would. It will work, but a little color will wash out over time.

    The airbrush paint, especially the transparent colors, are going to stay nice and soft(unless you build up many layers of paint) and will also hold onto the fabric really well and stay durable. I would say they are your best bet. Makes sure whether you use dye-na-flow or airbrush colors that you heat set afterwards to make them permanent.
  • Is there a better way of heat setting polyester? Or, is the AirFix product a good route?
  • Airfix is a great option. It is a chemical heat set and makes the paint more permanent. Never mix it into the entire bottle unless you plan on using that whole bottle within 2 hrs. It will dry paint even if the lid is closed.

    You can heat set like you would on cotton on polyester if it is able to be ironed. 30 sec of heat on each area at the hottest setting for the fabric is a good rule of thumb.