ralph lauren mens Companies That Will Dye Clothing
FINDING someone to dye clothing can be a daunting task. While there are numerous companies that specialize in bulk dyeing (”We do 500 to 1,000 pounds at a time,” said one employee) and those that specialize in dyeing clothes for the theater, few will accept one piece of clothing.
When you do locate a company, dyeing is still a risky business. While a label may say 100 percent silk, for instance, the fabric might contain a small amount of another fiber, causing streaks during the dyeing process. Another problem can occur when the lining shrinks at a different rate than the shell. And some synthetic fabrics cannot be dyed at all.
The designs in printed fabrics can be washed away by the hot water used in dyeing, said Franc Sabino, the manager of 20/20 Colorists in Manhattan, a company that will dye a single piece of clothing.
He added that fabrics with a Scotchgard finish might take the dye only in some places, and that a dress might be made from different bolts of the same fabric, causing the dye to come out darker in places.
People should also be aware of the principles of color. ”If you put blue and red together, what do you get?” Mr. Sabino asked. The answer, of course, is purple, meaning that a blue dress cannot be dyed red.
Clothing must be taken to the shop to determine if it is worth dyeing. But because potential problems are not necessarily visible to the eye, even Mr. Sabino can be surprised by the results. ”You can never tell by looking at a garment if it’s going to work or not,” he said.
But there are some success stories, too. The company saved a white Calvin Klein evening dress with makeup stains that even dry cleaning could not remove. The dress was hand painted in a swirling pattern of pastel colors. The work cost $250. (Dyeing it solid black would have run about $85.) The company dyes cotton, linen, wool and certain synthetics like polyester, nylon and acetate, depending on the color and quality of the fabric. It does not dye acrylics. Most articles of clothing can be dyed, including bridesmaids’ dresses, handbags and shoes. And it’s possible to dye curtains, upholstery, tablecloths, napkins and pillows.
Generally, Mr. Sabino is wary of dying wedding dresses that have been shortened to cocktail length.
”It could be ruined, especially those made of satin or taffeta,” he said.
The minimum charge is $60; a 50 percent deposit is required. The company does not accept credit cards, and there is no pickup or delivery service. Work generally takes about two weeks. The Martin Izquierdo Studio in Manhattan primarily serves the theatrical community. The company dyed the costumes for ”Jerome Robbins’s Broadway” and also does work for Ralph Lauren’s showrooms. But Mr. Izquierdo and his staff of three will also take on individual jobs.
In addition to dyeing clothing solid colors, Mr. Izquierdo said, ”we can paint patterns into clothes to camouflage spots.”
Mr. Izquierdo added some caveats about the dyeing process: a cotton skirt might be sewn with polyester thread, which can cause shrinkage. And since soil and accumulated cleaning fluids can affect the dyeing process, old garments are more difficult to dye than new ones.
The studio dyes only natural fabrics. Shoes and handbags are accepted. The minimum charge is $35. Work takes from one day to one week; no pickup or delivery. Elissa Tatigikis Iberti of Brooklyn was a dyer and costume coordinator at the Metropolitan Opera for seven years. She dyes only clothing and prefers natural fibers like silk and cotton.
Dyeing is more expensive than most people think, she said, and women who want to dye bridesmaids’ dresses usually end up saying: ” ‘Oh, forget it. I could buy a new dress for that.’ ”
The minimum charge is $55; Ms. Iberti will pick up and deliver. In the fall she plans to start seminars on dyeing for people who want to learn how to do it themselves. Here’s Where 20/20 COLORISTS 20 West 20th Street, Room 501; 212 255 6579. Monday through Friday, by appointment only. MARTIN IZQUIERDO STUDIO 118 West 22d Street, ninth floor; 212 807 9757. Monday through Saturday. ELISSA TATIGIKIS IBERTI 223 Water Street, Brooklyn; 718 852 4262. Monday through Friday.