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Dye-ing for a solution

sjanellem | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I have a lovely wool suit with a blotch on it that will not come out. Several dry cleaners have tried. The suit is light grey and the blotch is cream-colored. I considered covering the blotch with embroidery or aplique, but it’s an Armani suit, and embellishment just doesn’t seem right.

The only solution I can think of is to dye the entire garment a different color, but I can
find no information on dyeing nor anyone who will dye it for me. Even if the dyeing is a disaster, I’m no worse off than I am now. I’d really like to save the suit if I can.

Can anyone help me with info on dyeing? or any other ideas for making the suit wearable again?


  1. GinnaS | | #1

    Dyeing won't work.  You'll still have a spot although it will be a different color.  I tried removing the color so I could dye a skirt that got spots on it and even that did not work.  You'll need a solution other than dyeing.  Good luck.


    Edited 8/6/2004 7:48 pm ET by GINNAS

    Edited 8/6/2004 7:48 pm ET by GINNAS

  2. kayl | | #2

    Take a look at Jane Conlon's book on classic embellishments... you may

    find something more suitable than the applique or embroidery you contemplated.

    I don't think dyeing without stripping the rest of the color is going

    to help, and there's a pretty good chance that it would ruin the structure of the suit.

    A couple of things you might want to consider trying -- though I would

    play with the techniques on scrap fabric first!!!!

    -- Pantone and other artist's markers (they'll probably be called "layout markers") come in lots of different colors and shades-- Pantone, for instance has about 12 shades of "warm grey" and 12 of "cool grey". You might luck out and find the exact shade you need in

    a marker, and be able to dot on the color. You'll probably still see

    edges of the blotch, however -- this technique is one that works

    best for smallish spots in not very obvious places.

    -- you might be able to do something similar, using the really good

    thin-bodied fabric paints like Neopaque, and mixing your own match.

    Again, depending on the fabric, the original coloration, and how

    you applied the paint, I'd be concerned about edges showing.


    1. edgy | | #3

      I agree about the markers --they've been my salvation many times. Be sure they say PERMANENT and be prepared to toss it if it doesn't work. I know it's an Armani, but you can't wear it as is.

      Another possiblity if you're into this is stamping or stenciling the whole suit. Not everywhere, but lots of good ideas on this in Threads. I know those suits are usually minimalist and might not lend itself to this. Is it a place where you could add an interesting pocket? Probably not.............

      Life happens.........

  3. carolfresia | | #4

    How big is the blotch, and where is it located on the suit? If it's small, you might be able to find a person who does reweaving. This is typically done to repair moth holes or small burns, but I don't see why it couldn't work for your suit. They take a bit of fabric from somewhere hidden in the garment (maybe a facing?), and weave the patch back in over the damaged area.

    I guess I'd go for some sort of embellishment, too, if only to try and salvage a nice garment. If you do embroidery there, consider scattering it elsewhere on the jacket as well so that it makes sense as part of the overall design.


  4. SewTruTerry | | #5

    Do you have any idea what caused the splotch? If you know what caused it there may be a way to either remove it or treat the other areas so that they match.

    1. sjanellem | | #6

      I think it started out as a drop of coffee that either 1) my dry cleaner treated inappropriately or 2) the original dye was not sufficiently stable in the first place to handle any "abuse".

      1. SewNancy | | #7

        Depending on where the splotch is, you could wear one of the hot new brooches on the spot.


      2. SewTruTerry | | #8

        I have had a bit of luck myself with stains of unknown origins by using the pretreatment bottle enclosed with the "Dryel" brand of dry-cleaning products that are now on the market. Just remember to treat from the back of the stain and if it is lined try to get under the lining if possible.  Also remember to put fresh pads under the stain to catch it and I have found that using a dry low temp iron to dry it a bit will tell me if I have gotten all of it.  The final solution would be to use some peroxide in the same manner but dab on using a cotton swab and then use the iron. This will take out or bleach the area and then you could try the permanent marker solution to even out the color.  Just remember you may need more than one shade of grey as there are literally thousands of them out there.  Good luck and keep us informed.

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