How to dye your crinoline

Guest post by Loaf

CIMG0720.JPGSo, I had inauguration day off, and my partner Luck was at work, and I was high on patriotic pride and seeing my dress pinned and properly floofy, so I had the confidence to try this first major DIY project alone! First I washed the crinoline, since it was dirty from my sweat as I tried it on, and who knows who else had tried it on. Since it has to be wet when you dye it, I figured washing it first would be the easiest.

As the crinoline was washing, I started mixing the Sunshine Orange dye. Michael's only had the powdered dye in a color I wanted, so I followed the directions and mixed two packages in two cups of hot water. I didn't want to use anything plastic in this process, since the Rit box said the dye will dye plastic. I did use plastic gloves, but I didn't care about those changing colors.


Then I followed the directions on the box, filling the machine full of hot water, mixing in a tablespoon of detergent, and the dye (I mixed it around with a long-handled spoon when I mixed the dye) and put in the crinoline.


And I checked on it every 3 minutes, to untwist it and move it around in the washer to make sure it was getting an even dye job.


I think 3 minutes was the right amount, because every time I checked it, it was completely twisted again. And it kept me paying attention so I had time to reset the machine back to repeat a cycle, since you have to have the fabric in the dye at least 30 minutes before you start to rinse.


It's kind of a tiring and boring process, but at only 10 minutes in, the crinoline is already the perfect color, so I think using the two boxes was just right. It does seem like you will occasionally need to take the entire damn thing out of the washer to untangle it. So I rigged up (with clippy magnets) a towel device that would protect me and the floor. (Yes, my wall got covered too. And there is Luck's Mt. Dew addiction on display).



This took way longer than I thought it would and, aside from setting the timer every three minutes so I could untangle, I didn't keep track of the time, so it's possible that the crinoline got extra soaking time. I also skipped a second rinse and just rinsed it once, then washed it with an extra rinse and tried it for just a little bit before I hung it up in the bathroom to air dry. I'm really excited and I think it looks so great and will be a really great surprise and pop of color. It is really fucking orange. But I like it! I'm all about bright colors. As Luck likes to say (about both of us), we're like an accident in a crayon factory, as brightly colored as our wardrobes and lives tend to be!

Oh, and I got completely covered in water, so I'm really glad I changed into old clothes while doing this. And I switched to a gentle cycle, because part of the slip seemed to be fraying and the color felt saturated enough. For someone who hates doing laundry, this is not exactly a fun process, especially considering I just spent $50 on the slip. I know I could've found one cheaper, but I was standing there in the dress and it looked perfect with the slip and It was just so much easier….WIC 1, Loaf 0. (Well Probably WIC 2 or 3 since I went to DB to have my alterations done…again, it just seemed easier! and the woman was very sweet.)

Anyway, here is the crinoline fresh out of the washer:




Going into the dryer:


When I threw the crinoline in to dry, I threw into the washer the grey drip towel, some rags I used to wipe up spills and my socks that got orange drips on them along with some bleach and Tide to clean out the washer. I think it will be fine. It didn't seem stained at all.

And fresh out of the dryer!


With my wedding shoes:

(you can see the edge of my fleur de lys toe tattoo here)

A close-up of the lace edging:


Now my dilemma is whether or not to share this with Luck…if I do, I'll have to confess that I have a new dress. But I'm really not sure how to hide it…it's a lot bigger than I thought I would need, but under the dress, it's perfect. It makes me love my dress even more, because I really did want the poufy crinoline. I mean, I never dress up, so when I do, I want to go all out!

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Comments on How to dye your crinoline

  1. And I was just wondering how to get my crinoline the very perfect blue color! Thanks!

  2. Where can I get crinoline? I’m having hard time finding a long one. Thanks!

  3. Susan, almost all wedding salons will have crinolines. You can also try ebay. That’s where I got mine.

    Thanks for having this. I used to do a lot of dying with the washing machine method, but now we have a front loader so I have to use the tub method. We’ll see how that goes when I go to dye my crinoline black.

  4. This is GREAT. I have been desperately looking for an orange or peach crinoline, but they were either too short, or very expensive since orange and peach aren’t that popular of a color I guess.
    I bought a white one just in case I couldn’t find a peach one, but I think I’m going to try dyeing it!
    Mine is fairly plasticy feeling. Do you think it will hold the dye? It was pretty cheap, so its worth a shot.
    Thanks for this great how to.

  5. Lovely!!! If I was having a crinoline I’d want it to be orange too!! I am smitten with the color orange.

  6. I really wish I could do a dyed crinoline, but I live in a place where we can’t have washing machines in our apartments and you’re generally expressly forbidden from using laundry rooms or laundromats to dye anything. Alas.

  7. I also don’t have access to a washer. However, if you have bath tub or large plastic bucket or something similar, you can still stuff. I think the washing machine method might be best though.

    I bought two lavendar crinolines for my bridesmaids, but they look very very pink, so I’m going to try to dye them purple in my bathtub.

    We’ll see what kind of mess I can make!

  8. What a great tutorial and that orange color is TO DIE FOR (no pun intended!)!! I’m going to attempt a mint green for mine, I have the dye and the crinoline all set, just waiting till I have some time and assistance!

    A trick I heard for making sure it doesn’t get twisted is to slip it OVER the center turny thing, like it is going to be wearing the crinoline, so it gets evenly dyed.

  9. That is BEAUTIFUL! Now I’m rethinking the short dress I’ve been drooking over…….I think I just might have to let it go and this way I won’t have to worry about my white as paper legs.

  10. Remember that in order for the dye to work, your crinoline needs to be made from natural fibers, such as cotton, linen, or silk. Rayon and nylon will also dye (rayon is made from cellulose and nylon has similar structure to silk, so both will dye much like natural fibers) but if your crinoline is made polyester, it will not accept the dye.

    • In sweden were i live they sell special polyester dyes. Maybe thats worth checking in to?

      • I’m late to the party here, but for future reference, I’ve had good success with the dye packets Dharma Trading Company sells. I used the natural fiber ones to dye silk scarves for my mum for Christmas.

  11. I read your blog, it made me cry. Seriously. Congratulations to you both for finding such a special shining love. I really like your poetry! (I write too)

  12. THANKS SO MUCH!!!!
    I’ve been wondering how to dye mine without blotching it all to hell.

    LOVE the orange!!!!

  13. Almost forgot- a tip for brides who are dying stuff in their tubs- be ready to remove a stain! The best way to remove dyes from most tub surfaces is bleach. Run HOT water in the stained tub to fill it about half way. Add an entire gallon bottle of pure bleach to the hot water and let it soak for 30mins to an hour (depending on how dark the stain is.) Drain the tub and gently scrub the tub with a Brillo pad. Rinse with hot water and the tub will be back to it’s normal color.

  14. OMG, I’m on OBB! 🙂

    Thanks, y’all, for your feedback. This was my first DIY project, and I’m really pleased with it.

    The box of dye I used said it was not for use in a plastic bathtub, so I think you might have to bleach your tub if you do the tub method.

    I originally wanted a green crinoline, but decided I should mix in my FW’s fave color a bit, too.

    Now the hardest part is hiding it from her so it’s a surprise on the wedding day!

  15. This craft project is GREAT! Although I don’t ever see my lazy self doing it, its awesome to see that it can be done and how. THANKS!!!

  16. i actually might have to do this to my great grammas dress because it is entirely of the bottom inside half of your skirt fabric. that see thru material but beaded…very 1920s i think. but very dirty looking. i have no idea what color because i am so traditional, wanting white or at least off white. i need to look up colors, thanks for this post!

  17. I would also recommend checking out Dharma Trading Company for dyes; they have a lot of really great ones, all sorts of colors, and designed for different types of dyeing processes. I mention it because I used a Rit dye on a tank top a few months ago, and it’s starting to fade now, but the fabric my FH dyed bright red with the “fiber reactive” dye from Dharma Trading is still bright. I imagine that for a wedding outfit, since you’re probably not going to be washing and wearing it as much as a tank top, the Rit dye will last longer, but it’s just something to think about. Oh, and we used the bathtub method, too, instead of the washing machine. Our apartment also expressly forbids dyeing in the washing machine (and our bathtub still looks clean and white! no dye!).

  18. YAY! I was wondering if it would be possible to dye a crinoline green. Hurrah! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  19. It turned out so good!

    I dyed my crinoline tutu lavender for a burlesque show in December, but unfortunately live in an apartment and couldn’t use the washing machine so I did it in a bucket. Needless to say my results were not as pretty as yours haha.

  20. Thanks for taking the time to document everything! I was thinking about dying mine, so this was a very helpful article!

  21. Thanks so much! This is really helpful since I can’t find a coloured crinoline in that perfect green shade! Had I known it would be that easy I would have stopped searching months ago! This is a great idea.

  22. Ah! Why didn’t I think of this? I am totally dying mine bright purple now! Or perhaps hot pink…who cares if it won’t match, right?

  23. I have a red wedding dress and thinking of wearing that kind of slip but dont want white.. want to dye but have no idea what color! this encourages me to get one and dye it mmmm maybe hot pink? I have dyed other items before and used a big tote box for easier dyeing and used bleach to clean bath tubs afterwards since I live in an apartment that wont allow me to dye in their laundry mat washers too. thanks for the information and suggestions on here!!

  24. I’m just curious. Have any offbeat brides had problems with the dye rubbing off onto their dress after trying this? It’s my only reservation, but it terrifies me to think of my gorgeous dress getting random turquoise stains.

  25. I love this idea!I’ve been trying to figure out how to add some purple to my ivory dress.
    I am wondering if other OB brides have tried this, does the dye stain your dress?

  26. Has anyone done this and then did the Trash the Dress? I am afraid if I do this when I go and do the Trash the Dress it will bleed all over my white dress? Any thoughts?

  27. this helps a bunch! thank you!…and its comforting to know that it isnt relatively annoying for someone who hates doing laundry…because i am one who hates doing laundry. Yay colored crinoline!

  28. Thank you SO much for writing this! I have the exact same crinoline from David’s that I wanted to color but was afraid wouldn’t take the dye. Off to Michael’s for some hot pink rit! 🙂

  29. I am so doing this!! I realize you posted this a couple years ago, but I still have to ask…where did you get your Green shoes? I love the color and can’t find anything close to that online.

    • Hi you can probably find green shoes on ebay or find a shoe that fits well and fabric paint or spray paint the color you like then when it drys use a clear spray paint to give it that gloss look hope this helps. I have done something like this before and it turned out pretty nice.

  30. This is a great post even though its a couple of years ago but someone is always looking for something to do with color dyes and being uniquely different. I found a wedding dress in a second hand shop and been thinking of color dying it since I am a non traditional girl who hardly wears white or ivory clothing. I may go with RIT color dyes since I used them before in other craft projects but not on a big item such as this wedding dress, I have always used a big bucket but nervous about using the tub knowing I will have to bleach dye it after wards. Alot to think about since it is a huge project.

  31. So this totally worked great except that the outer layer of my crinoline didn’t take the color 🙁

    Luckily I was using a test subject I had found at Goodwill cause I was worried I didn’t have the right color dye but has anyone had success using dyes for manmade materials? I’m assuming the reason that the one layer didn’t dye is because its not natural, since it feels different than the inside.


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