A few weeks ago, I found a field jacket at Goodwill that interested me. But being January, I felt like a light coat wasn’t a practical purchase, so I passed. Then February turned out to be filled with 50+-degree days, and I wished I’d bought it!
I wasn’t having any luck finding a jacket that I liked in both fit and weight, until I saw this one.
I liked the way it fit and that it was lined, giving it a little extra warmth for those in-between days. However, I didn’t like the tan color. The tag said the fabric is cotton and linen, which made it perfect for dying! It also had the perfect price–under $10 because of Goodwill’s Presidents’ Day sale.
I’ve dyed a few items before (mostly jeans and a denim jacket), so I was excited to try dying something else. On my way to Michael’s to get some dye, I googled the Rit colors. I didn’t see the color green I wanted, but they had this color recipe chart which had two greens I was interested in.
My ideal color is somewhere between the two. I took a look at the Tan color, and it was a close match to the existing color of the jacket.
This meant that I only needed Dark Green and Brown dyes mentioned in the color recipes. And a 20% off coupon made each bottle of dye less than $4.
The directions indicated that cotton and linen require a cup of salt to be added to the dye bath.
I followed the instructions for sink dying. My tip (which they don’t mention) is to turn on Netflix to entertain yourself while you stir constantly for over 30 minutes.
I took the drawstrings out of the jacket, so they could be dyed evenly. Then it was time to get it wet in hot water. Run the tap for a bit so that the hottest water is coming out.
Once it was wet, I filled the sink with more water, added the salt, and poured in some dye! I started out with half of the dark green bottle, but added more to darken the color. (I ended up not using the brown dye at all and returned it to the store.)
Then I stirred…and stirred…and stirred…and checked the clock…and stirred some more. About half way thru I drained some of the sink and added more hot water, since the color was getting darker than I wanted and the water was becoming cool. Once the 30 minutes were up, and I completely drained the sink and started rinsing the jacket until the water ran clear.
Typically the stitching is not made out of a natural fiber (which doesn’t dye as well as the rest of the item), and that is true here: the stitching is still tan. So are the zippers and binding strips on the inside. I think it looks cool and unique with that added detail though.
I wore gloves during the whole process, but there must’ve been small holes, since my fingers and nails turned dark green.
The directions say to then wash it in a machine with warm water, but I chose to wash in cold since that’s what the jacket’s care label says.
It’s also worth noting that the dye bottle says that you should take caution before dying an item that recommends washing in cold, since hot water can damage the item. In fact, I think the jacket shrunk a little in the hot water dye bath, but I think that helped the fit in the end.
And now it’s green!
A pretty perfect army/camo green, if I do say so myself!
And now I have an on-trend jacket for those warm winter days for under $15! Which I’m sure will get a lot of use, as spring is just around the corner. 🙂