24-yard skirt: Skirtzilla!

Yes, now I owe not only picture of the hats but also pictures of the gigantic 24-yard skirt I dyed this weekend. It was a tie-dye project with the skirt having horizontal bands of bright color: deep blue, plum, magenta, tangerine. It’s utterly insane, and I’ll post a picture RSN I promise. (I bought mine in white from Gypsy Magda).

Here are some important things I learned about dying a skirt so big:

1. While such a skirt may weigh 22 oz while dry, it weighs 22 lbs while wet.

2. Tying the skirt while damp was a great idea and did tame the froofiness. However, I shouldn’t have tied it in the first place. Because there was so much skirt, I ended up with more white than I wanted (even carefully trying to work the dye through the layers). It would have been better for me to put down newspaper and plastic in the garage and spread the skirt waaaaaay out. But I still like the skirt I got.

3. Spinning the excess soda ash solution out in the washing machine was a genius idea suggested by a poster on Paula Burch’s forum. I could never have wrung it out properly.

4. Is there a good book anywhere that talks about sodium alginate proportions for tie dye? I was so worried about my dye running into each other that I used too much. Then I had to dilute everything. It was like Laurel & Hardy Dye a Skirt. But I did find that a retired kitchen whisk really mixes sodium alginate in nicely. (Sodium alginate is kelp, by the way. Mmm, kelp.)

5. I underestimated the amount of dye liquid the skirt would be willing to suck up. I thought with 24 fluid ounces of dye I would be safe. I could have used more like 40 fluid ounces… but part of this was due to my over-enthusiastic hand with the sodium alginate, I am sure.

Cool project, cool skirt. Would I do it again? As a favor to a friend, yes, but I doubt I would make a business out of dyeing these… I don’t have room to work on the giant things.


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