Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Help!!! Leather Dye Disaster
I firmly believe that you develop a closer relationship with clothing you've made yourself than stuff you've bought in a shop. So much of yourself has gone into them, the initial vision, choosing the right fabric, making decisions about fit, details and fastenings, not to mention all the time and effort. And when they turn out a success and serve you well time and time again, well it's a pretty special thing in my book!
Which is why I'm so upset and confused about my bird skirt. My bird skirt first rose like a phoenix from the ashes of a project fail, coming to life when my lace applique detail attempt couldn't stand up to laundering. Since that time, the bird skirt has been a good friend to me, particularly throughout Me-Made-March and Me-Made-May. It even provided the inspiration for another.
So what's up? Let me explain. Obviously I laundered this skirt a squillion times whilst living in Spain, if I recall correctly, sometimes using washing liquid meant for babies and sometimes using normal washing powder and god-knows what heat setting on the washing machine. No problems. I returned to the UK in August and washed this skirt at my mum's using non-bio powder and a low-heat setting on the machine: CRISIS!!!!!! The skirt came out with black marks obviously where the leather appliques had touched the red fabric during the washing cycle. The only way we were able to get rid of these black smeery marks was to leave the whole skirt in a very mild bleach solution. This did pretty well, but when we washed the skirt again, more marks came back. WTF, people???!!!!
I can't put it in a bleach solution again as the red has already started to turn an unpleasant un-red shade and I don't think it could handle any more. I think I've finally accepted this incarnation of the bird skirt is dead, but I really want to figure out why as I have other projects using this technique up my sleeves.
What I can't fingure out, is why, after many many washing cycles in Spain, did the leather suddenly release a load of dye once it reached English soil? My best friend also has a couple of these skirts I made using leather appliques on poly-cotton twill fabric, and she has had no problems in the past with either or hers too. Does anyone have any ideas? What if I'd always hand washed it? Would that prevent it from ever happening? But why, if I clearly didn't need to for the vast majority of it's life?
These pics don't show the smeery marks very well, but maybes it gives you an idea. If you have even an inkling why this has happened and how to avoid it again, please please leave a comment. I can't have any more beloved garments go the way of this one!