• I'm new here. I've seen your products and know that these are the ones that I most likely will be able to find affordably and use. I have a duchess satin wedding dress in champagne which I wish to gradient from the champagne to chocolate brown. It is a flat shiny finish.
    I also have another dress from David's Bridal that is a snythetic satin, again, smooth, which is white currently. I wish to dye this dress from light blue at the top to deeper blue at the bottom.
    I also have another dress from David's Bridal that is a synthetic satin, also smooth, but shorter, but it's like cranberry. I'd like this dress to look more plum or purple. So, 1) do I need to remove the color? 2? Can I re-dye to another intense color or 3? is there a color I could blend with this red to make a purple/plum color.
    I'm getting married in December, and I basically got snubbed by the local bridal store when I wanted to buy two $220 dresses and two $60 chiffon jackets with beads, which would not match but be close, and I would have asked about the shoes but when I told her about the alberti dress I bought for $80, she couldn't get rid of me fast enough. Needless to say, they not only lost 2 dress sales, 2 jacket sales, anything I might have then looked at for my Maid of Honor, plus at least 3 to 4 pairs of shoes. Plus, guess who I am not going to tell anyone to shop at???? Right.
    So, now I want to do some dyeing of my own and have plenty of space to work inside or out. And, plenty of time. My colors are champagne ivory, a plum purple, chocolate brown and baby blue. This is a winter wedding and I know the colors will work with those who will wear them!
  • Dyeing formal dresses is usually a bad idea, but it might be possible for you, if you're willing to take the risk of ruining what you're trying to dye.

    Have you prewashed the dresses? You must prewash before dyeing anything. If a dress is not washable, it's not dyeable. Wash in hot water. Beaded fabrics are often not washable.

    What fiber is your synthetic satin? There's a difference between nylon or acetate or polyester. Polyester is the most difficult of these to dye. Silk is tremendously easier to dye; too bad you don't have silk. If your satin is made of polyester, then you'll have to use disperse dye, such as iDye Poly. No other type of dye will work.

    You will have to buy a huge cooking pot to boil your dresses in. Are they sturdy enough to survive boiling? The pot must be big enough for each dress to move about freely when you stir it, unless you want uneven color, like tie-dye. Don't plan to reuse your dyeing pot to cook food in, later on.

    You should practice dyeing on something cheap, and do this as soon as possible so that you'll have time to make other choices if you find out it's impractical. See if you can find a polyester satin dress at a thrift store, for test dyeing.


    Paula E. Burch, Ph.D.
    hand dyeing FAQ, dyeing instructions, book reviews:
    please join the dye forum: http://www.pburch.net/forum
  • There's a privacy panel in my dress that I need to remove so I was going to use that for practice. Both the white and the champagne are dirty, esp. at the bottom. I have woollite and was going to try washing them by hand myself, but I need to work up a metal frame with a block & trackle system to lift dresses. As far as size, don't laugh, I was going to get a metal trash can and work off a burner my dad uses in the summer that runs off an lp gas tank (he boils corn for the whole family at once). There are no beads in the area of my gown that would melt where that I wish to dye. The gown for my daughter has no beads at all. I will bet all three are synethics, but I will have to pull them out and see if they say. The website isn't going to tell you, LOL. I know it's not an easy project, but I have time on my side. I think if I get samples of the same hand and synthetic, I can test results to see if I'll be happy. Each dress will probably only get worn once and if I feel I cannot dye my wedding dress, I will just repair it and be happy. The white one definitely needs to be blue and the last, at 5.00, if we have to make something else, I'm only out 5 dollars.
    Thanks so much for your advise. Don't laugh too hard picturing me in my dad's back yard, metal frame holding a heavy dress while I boil it in a metal trash can or other large bin that won't melt!!
    I purchased all three at a Goodwill saving me about $1165 over all three dresses at retail!
  • Dyeing outside is a great idea when you're dyeing polyester. I really don't like the smell of the color intensifier chemical (it's included in the dye packet), but it helps a lot in getting the color you want on polyester.

    No need to be careful about dyeing polyester with Woolite. If your dress is going to survive dyeing in boiling water, it should survive any type of laundry detergent you have on hand. Only natural fibers benefit from Woolite.

  • I decided to be brave and took both Duchess satin dresses to the laundromat and put them in a large machine on delicate with woolite. Both dresses came out beautiful and clean! I did air dry both as it was a nice windy day and I did not think it good for these to go through the dryer.
    We decided on another dress entirely for the 5.00 dress. And, decided not to dye the bottom of my wedding dress, so only wanting to dye the white one. Will let you know how I get my ombre blue if I can get it figured out. Since this dress will be a wear it once dress, I'm also looking at other ways to get a similar result. It is 100 percent poly, but the mesh on the lining is nylon so I'm thinking I may pull the lining up & out so I can just work with dress fabric. The white dress was original a David's Bridal dress and when I asked them about custom dying, they didn't do it either. But, they did express an interest in seeing the finished product. We'll see. Worst case, I have to sew one.
    Thanks for all of your helpful information.