I will never clean again.
September 12, 2011 3:30 PM   Subscribe

How to fix horrific bleach-on-silk tragedy.

I am such an idiot. A total, righteous idiot. I have this lovely slip. It is a silk/cotton knit mix. It is delightful.

I wore it today (for the first time!) and noticed a tiny, tiny blood stain on the front. No biggie! I just rinsed it and blasted it with a little bit of Spray and Wash. No problems, right!

Um...except what I thought was spray and wash was actually Clorox. Yes. Clorox.

So now I have a lovely cream coloured silk slip with fashion-forward orange blotches all over it.

How can I fix this? Can I bleach it all and re-dye? I know it will never be the same; I accept that. I just wonder if I can salvage it somehow. (For the record, the blotches are all in the only area you would see if I were to wear it under a v-neck dress. The hidden parts are, conveniently, fine.)

(insert the sobs of self-loathing)
posted by Mrs. Rattery to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
For all dye questions I refer people to Dharma Trading Company. Call them. They know everything.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:41 PM on September 12, 2011 [5 favorites]

First you need to neutralize the bleach ASAP. There are products especially for this but if I remember hydrogen peroxide also works. If you skip this it will eat the silk and ruin its texture

Next, dye it dark as possible. The darker the less the spots will show.
posted by slow graffiti at 3:56 PM on September 12, 2011

The bleach made cream fabric orange...? Wait, the link doesn't show a cream. Is yours coral with cream spots, now? Or...?

Can you put up a picture of the slip?

I would not bleach the whole thing -- bleach weakens fabric; if it's damaged enough to have blotches...this isn't something I would spend a lot of money on dye for, for what that's worth, as the bleached spots may turn to hole-y spots in a few more washes. (Or not, Your Fabric May Vary, and it's hard to grok how damaged it is without a pic).

You can get a nice effect with different fabric dyes in spray bottles -- sort of tie-dye but not quite, and very easy to do, and forgiving of blotches. Another option would be a Sharpie in the right colour if the spots are lighter than the fabric, but that's more of a so-it's-an-okay-nightie route given that the spots aren't hidden.
posted by kmennie at 3:59 PM on September 12, 2011

Oops! I linked to the wrong slip! is the one.

Anyway, yes, it's orange now.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 4:07 PM on September 12, 2011

I doubt you can fix this unless you are happy with overall splotchiness. The silk turning yellow/orange is a sign that the proteins were being dissolved. Trying to bleach the whole thing will probably not hide the spots because they will be doubly bleached and weakened. Maybe a very, very dark dye will hide them, but because the structure of the fiber is damaged, in different light the spots may show anyway. Talking to Dharma as small ruminant suggests will probably give you the definitive answer.

If you wanted to play around, you could maybe try some silk painting where you incorporate the stains in some way. Dharma would be the place to go for that as well. The one concern is that the fibers may be weakened enough at this point that a little stress will cause holes.

Hydrogen peroxide can sometimes safely be used to bleach silk, but not generally at full strength. It can also oxidise proteins, so I would not add it to an already damaged garment.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:34 PM on September 12, 2011

How about covering it with a lace applique? Or if you're a bit artistic, try some embroidery with silk thread.
posted by Corvid at 6:00 PM on September 12, 2011

Dharma is good, yes, but I buy most of my dyes from ProChem, and they also have a VERY good hotline. One of the problems you're going to run into with this being a blend is that silk and cotton take different types of dyes. ProChem may have some ideas there but me, I'd try an acid dye for the silk...the cotton will take the color lighter and make it look a little mottled depending on the fiber's twist and structure. This might be in your favor, actually, and hide the bleach damage a little more. meMail me if you need more ideas, I do a fair bit of dye work.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:05 PM on September 12, 2011

I can't see your new link for the slip, but what about actually getting it altered to be a v-neck? You say it's only the bits that would show if you wore a v-neck dress... can you make this into a v-neck slip?
posted by nat at 9:45 PM on September 12, 2011

Advice from AskMe can't reverse the progression of the universe, in which, your slip was irrefutably damaged. Save it, for some future use, when you've learned to sew, and it can, in carefully cut pieces, redeem some garment that as yet, you can't imagine.

Bleaching, dyeing, or otherwise treating the whole garment, now, in some attempt to save it for yourself, is only likely to harm it further. If you simply rinse it until you know it is clean, dry it carefully, and use it, in the future, wisely, you'll recover its joy to you, as a garment, again.
posted by paulsc at 10:12 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the tips. I will try to dye it dark. If nothing else, it will be an amusing experiment.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 3:32 AM on September 13, 2011

« Older What's the best CMS for this project on banned...   |   How to reset CMOS on a Samsung N150 Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.