Painting a dress?

So, I went off to look for a dress to wear to a summer wedding. You know the drill… it had to look nice, feel nice AND be comfortable enough to dance in. (It’s even better when there are pockets but that’s an awful lot to expect!)

And, I found a dress. But, you know, there is always a complication!

The dress was white. And you know that almost anything can be worn to a wedding but not white. No other dress turned up but there was a plan simmering in the back of my mind. I thought I might paint it, then, I decided to spatter paint it because it was a really easy thing to do. I rummaged around for a bottle of very bright green ink that I’d had kicking around for years and years. I laid out the dress on an old area rug and tested it inside the hem and, loving it!!!, spattered on the ink with a brush. When I finished the front side, I hung it to dry and then spattered the reverse the next day.

the dress before and after

the dress before and after

Anybody notice any errors on my part yet?

Any alarm bells go off?

Well, remember how all instructions everywhere tell you to test a spot first? Hey! In my defense, I did thatbut I didn’t let it totally dry before I proceeded. After drying, the color turned a dark, mossy green. That was actually okay by me; the new color was beautiful, and, whew! I’d dodged a bullet, because what if it had turned a color that was ugly? However, the rug beneath the dress kept the chartreuse color after it dried. Why? The ink I used reacted with the finish on the dress. If I’d washed the dress first, it probably would not have changed.

However, I had an even bigger problem that I did not know about until after I was at the wedding!

Here is what happened. While sitting and waiting for the ceremony to start, my hand looked a little green to me… and then I discovered that the white chair on which I was sitting turned green. The ink was rubbing off! Onto me, onto my skin, onto any and everything! I’d never read the label on my ink bottle which said “Limited lightfastness.” Again, good news… not much rubbed off and, because everyone was either more concerned about what they were wearing and how they looked or, they were captivated by the beautiful wedding and it soon got dark… it really wasn’t a fiasco. I was humbled, though. Why had I not READ the label????

Even more happened… a few days after the wedding, I decided to launder the dress. The tag said I could but I would have done it any way! I’d danced in it, enjoyed it and soaked it with perspiration. I machine washed it in cold water with a little bit of normal detergent… and when it emerged from the washer it was again nearly completely white. (There were faint drifts of green that no one would notice.)

But, after all this, I am getting a second chance to re-spatter my dress and I have colorfast ink this time.

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