Sunday, 10 October 2010

Tying and Dyeing Of An Evening

In aid of a DIY fashion 'How-To' I was doing for The Mancunian fashion section, and in lieu of two previous raucous nights of dancing and bad behaviour, Saturday evening was spent with my nearest and dearest, homemade Thai red curry and a packet of 'Smoke Grey' Dylon dye.

I realise its level of student cliché is only akin to that of baked beans, neon paint and Jeremy Kyle; but try not to immediately scoff at the power of the humble tie dye. A delightfully simple and inexpensive way of rejuvenating tired, forgotten and unloved garments that doesn't have to leave you looking like a crude, Halloween hippy. Subtle shades and more subdued patterns render the look decidedly more wearable, and it's not just one for the girls: flashes of the tied and dyed have been seen recently on the high street (as always, horrendously overpriced) at American Apparel and notably on the runway at the JW Anderson Menswear S/S show at London Fashion Week.

JW Anderson Menswear S/S 11

American Apparel
I simply used a plain, cotton, long-sleeved t-shirt (a steal for a pound from a huge second hand shop in the Northern Quarter), a sachet of Dylon hand dye in 'Smoke Grey', a ball of string, some salt and a pair of thoroughly unsuitable rubber gloves. A word to the wise, invest in some hardy Marigolds; I used a disposable latex pair from Wilkinson and my palms still resemble those of Violet Beauregarde, post blueberry gum binge.

Once Upon A Time there was a plain white t-shirt

One ball of string and about fifty knots later, 'Manil' the cloth man is born..

...providing endless hours of entertainment

Simply tie knots in the fabric in accordance to what pattern you wish to achieve, add the salt and dye to a bucket of hot water and submerge the fabric for half an hour, stirring, and ensuring that every inch is covered. Then simply remove, rinse thoroughly, untie the knots, leave to dry and marvel at your creation.

The proposal that full submersion or 'drowning' Manil was met with outrage and uproar from all assembled

It was a tearful goodbye..

Worlds most ineffective gloves.

The full submersion of Manil and the subsequent transformation
 of my hands from a pinky-white to a faded, inky grey

Post-dye, pre-rinse, a shadow of a Manil
Et Voila! One thoroughly inexpensive, undeniably unique, easy to do and ready to wear DIY fashion fix:

Now to submerge my hands in bleach for the next half hour..

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