If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I am mildly obsessed with Twenty One Pilots. Their new album, Trench, is coming out on October 5th, and I am super excited about this post-apocalyptic world hey have created. As soon as the first single (Jumpsuit) dropped, I started hunting down pieces to re-create the look in the music video. I found some great pieces, and tried my hand at fabric dying (literally my hand, keep reading) to get those dingy muted tones I was looking for.
I found an amazing army chemical jacket at the local Army Surplus store, but it was a little lighter in hue than I was looking for. I also wanted to add a hood to the jacket and couldn’t find the right color to match, so I decided dying them would a) deepen the color and b) unify the color of the fabric.
Where it all went wrong
Ever pick out a color of a product based on the picture without reading the actual package description? Yeah, me too. When I picked out my fabric dye, I could SWEAR it looked like a dark forest green on the packaging. But the second I put it in the water, I was shocked at how dark it looked, but perhaps that was because it was still dispersing throughout the liquid? Plunging on regardless, I dunked my jacked into the dye bath, but after a few seconds, I still couldn’t shake that feeling that something was amiss, and I grabbed the packaging from the dye. Of course, looking at the actual color printed on the package vs. the color… it was black fabric dye. Crap.
All was not lost, however. I immediately pulled the jacket and extra fabric out of the dye bath and commenced rinsing*. And rinsing. And rinsing. The extra fabric rinsed right out, but the jacket was a whole other beast. It might have been because of what the lining was made out of, but this jacket held SO MUCH DYE. I rinsed it for roughly 30 minutes of wringing and swishing and rinsing. I then spent the next 30 minutes soaking it in oxyclean and re-rinsing every 10 minutes before I got it to a place where I felt it was acceptable to put in a dryer.
* You will want to wear gloves for this. Keep reading to see why. Also note, you will want to rinse this out in a steel sink so you don’t stain your bathroom sink/tub. #goodbyedeposit
I wanted to add a yellow hood to a long-sleeved camo button up I found at the surplus store. I found my sweater i.e. victim at Savers and brought it home to meet its maker. I cut the hood off, leaving about 4 inches of the sweater below the hood to use for connecting the hood to the jacket. I then took the hood and dunked it in a dark brown dye bath for no more than 30 seconds to mute the bright yellow color into something more appropriate for a post-apocalyptic setting. This also rinsed out easily, further confirming that it was something unique about the jacket that made it hold the dye so well.
Wring them out, and throw into the dryer!
Wear your gloves, save your manicure
I wore latex gloves to protect my hands when wringing out the jacket, but was rushing to dye the hoodie and forgot to put them on when rinsing. This resulted in permanently dying the skin around my fingernails black. It eventually comes off, but my fingers looked like this for about 5-6 days. Lesson learned.
Even with color mishaps, I am really pleased with how this turned out! The black dye actually accomplished what I was looking to do, and now all I have to do is assemble the pieces.