Monday, December 5, 2011

Dyeing a Duvet

When I was in college I had the comfiest down comforter with a white duvet cover - you can see it in this picture of my sophomore dorm.

I love that comforter and I'd still be using it today were it not for the fact that it's for a twin bed and my current bed is a queen.

This fall when Anne, my youngest sister, was assembling the long list of things she needed for her freshman dorm room, I decided to pass my comfy college comforter down to her. But before I did, I gave the duvet a simple makeover so it wouldn't feel quite so much like a hand-me-down. Here's what I did:

I bought a bottle of aqua colored Rit liquid fabric dye- it was less that $5 at Joanne's.

I proceeded to dye the duvet cover in my mom's washing machine, following these steps from Rit's website:

1. Fill washing machine with enough hot water for fabric to move freely. Add dye.

2. Wet fabric with hot water. Uncrumple and add to dye bath.

3. Set machine for extended wash cycle. Fabric should be in dye bath for at least 30 minutes before rinse begins. (You can reset your washing machine before the rinse cycle begins for extended wash cycle.)

4. Rinse in cold water until water runs clear.

5. Dry item in dryer.

6. Clean washing machine using highest water level with hot water, detergent and one cup chlorine bleach using complete wash cycle. Clean lint traps. Plastic or rubber machine parts may be tinted but will not stain laundry.

When the dyeing was done, I decided to replace the duvet's buttons with something a little more special.

But, since I couldn't find any new buttons that seemed worthy, I made some using a button cover kit and extra wide turquoise grosgrain ribbon.

Note, in case you're not familiar with button cover kits - a kit with five buttons costs about $5 at a store like Joanne's or Michael's, they come in all different sizes, you can use nearly any kind of fabric your heart desires, there's no sewing required, and it takes less than one minute per button....bottom line - they're great.

And the last thing I did was to sew a piece of ribbon to each of the corners inside the duvet

and to the corners of the comforter

and then tied them to one another  This will hopefully keep the comforter from shifting inside the duvet.

Here it is all bundled up ready for Anne to take to college with her.

And here she is, with the car all packed, ready to leave.

Isn't she cute? I can't wait for her to be home from college for the holidays.


Anonymous said...

Hello Liz! Thanks for the great blog! It looks like you did the dying part in a laundry tub of sorts. Is this correct? I have a laundry tub and would prefer to dye my fabric and let it sit there for the 30 mins then transfer to my washing machine. Is this possible? I have never dyed anything, and I have just purchased a brand new front loader, and I'd like to not mess them up. :) Thanks for any tips!

liz said...

Hi, thank you for reading! For this project I wet the fabric in a laundry tub, but did the actual dying in my washing machine. That said, I've successfully dyed fabric in a tub before too. Make sure to stir the fabric constantly while it's in the tub, otherwise the dye will get caught in the folds of the fabric and won't come out evenly. Also be mindful of the amount of water you use - the more water the more diluted your color will be. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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