Upcycling – the art of making something old, new again. It’s estimated that Australians send approximately 23kg pp of textiles to landfill each year, so it makes sense that we should try to reuse items when we can. By upcycling clothing, you’re not only helping to reduce landfill, but also stamping your own style on items and saving dollars at the same time.
I love doing the rounds of op-shops to see what I can find, and I’m often surprised about the great quality items I come across. One of my latest is a “Forever New” off-shoulder top – cute in the plain white but even better with some colour added.
You need to ensure the item is made from natural fibres – this was 100% cotton. As the top was clean and in excellent condition, it was just a matter of soaking it in soda ash, drying and then deciding how I was going tie it and choosing some colours. I decided on doing something very simple – just scrunching it up in a container, sprinkling the dye, placing a layer of ice on top and just waiting for the magic to happen. I used some of my colour swatches to choose a colour I liked and ended up choosing Rose Red.
If you’re dyeing in a container rather than on a rack, it’s important not to disturb the item until you’re ready to rinse out. It will be sitting in liquid once the ice has melted (called the muck). I waited approximately 24 hours before rinsing the top – first in cold water and then several times in hot water until it was nearly clear. To save on water, I sometimes soak the item in hot water and repeat several times instead of holding it under the tap. I then washed the top in the washing machine and left it to dry. And Voila!!
I just love this Rose Red colour and have used it many times. Although I love white clothes, I think this is so pretty. This is so easy – give it a go. I’ll have many more upcycled items to show you soon.