Dyeing an Arming doublet.

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Sam Blincoe
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Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby Sam Blincoe » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:29 am

Hello all.

I was hoping for some advice. I have a lovely 14th century arming doublet from Mark at cap a pie but I was hoping to dye it. I am unsure of the best way to do this and was hoping someone had either done this before? or had some advice on the subject.

thank you.

Sam



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Jackie Phillips
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Re: Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby Jackie Phillips » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:41 pm

The first question is has it been washed before? If not, do you know exactly what it is made of (including all layers and stitching)?

If it hasn't had any form of washing, it could well shrink and possibly some of it will shrink differently to other bits. This is a big risk. Most natural dyes require really hot, if not boiling temperatures, this increases the risk of shrinkage.

If you are willing to give it a go, I would suggest using cold water dyes by Dylon, they should minimise the risk. Use the bath (or large tub) rather than a washing machine (tumbling action again increases shrinking by felting the fibres).

Personally I wouldn't risk it; if you want colours, could you wear a livery over the top?


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Re: Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby frances » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:17 pm

Another way to do is is to add another layer over the top of everything in the fabric that you want.



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Re: Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby Nigel » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:23 am

What Jackie said

A machine wash is limited in weight as off the top of my head you can only use two cartons of Dylon at a time which will Dye one kilo. I suspect that your garment weighs more than that.

Also I'll bet they've used nylon thread which won't dye so that would be an interesting effect

Plus it's a garment so will I suspect dye at different shades

Also I have had to deal with the remains of garments after being shoved into washing machines never a pretty sight.

But after all that if you want to have a go off you go :D


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Re: Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby Phil the Grips » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:59 am

You could see if there's a wedding dress dyeing service near you- they'd be experienced at dealing with such complexities as bulk and mixed materials but'd likely charge you more than getting a quality gambeson made from scratch for doing it.


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Sam Blincoe
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Re: Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby Sam Blincoe » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:23 pm

Hello.
Thank you for your reply's its made from linen and appears to be made with linen thread but I cannot be sure. My heart isn't set on the idea and it does seem to be something that could go very wrong.
I had planned to cold dye it using dylon dyes. I have seen someone who used dylon dye as a paint but I worry it will be streaky as I haven't seen the end results.
I have an arming cap made the same way perhaps I could try it on that to see the results, would this be a good test or wouldn't it be helpful as its so much smaller?

Thank you.

Sam



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Re: Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby frances » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:53 pm

If you like these items so much why do you want to change the colour?



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Jackie Phillips
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Re: Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby Jackie Phillips » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:55 pm

Trying the arming cap first is definitely better than going straight in, worst you'll either need a new one or you'll have one an interesting colour.

The question you really need to answer for yourself, is can you cope if it all goes horribly wrong?

If the answer is yes, then maybe it's worth a try.

and let us all know how you get on.....


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Re: Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby IDEEDEE » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:58 am

I was puzzling over this when trying to dye some padded arms in a hurry for a "snap" photoshoot the next day... Didn't want wet padding for a couple of days, so used well-watered-down acrylic paint literally painted onto the outer surface... Worked brilliantly and dried in no time - and, as I was after an "aged/used" look, any patchiness (because I was in a hurry), made the items look more weathered.... Didn't harden up the cloth (paint well-watered) and I got a very "natural dye" look colourwise because I could mix the paint to just the colour I wanted.... Wouldn't recommend it for posh kit though....



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Re: Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby Rochester » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:44 am

I died one of Cap-a-Pie's 15thC doublets (with the mahoiters) in a washing machine with Dylon. The only reason I died mine was because I have forge-blackened armour and the white doublet was a bit too white. The dark blue really goes nicely with it.

The washing machine is still blue but so is the doublet - it actually came out evenly died -BUT - the stitching in polycotton thread, at a guess, which means I have white pin stripes. It's not obvious when I'm wearing it as I have plate over most of it so I'm not overly bothered. I died it on a cold wash with 3 or 4 sachets of die and it did not shrink noticeably.

One thing I will say is that all the seams are single stitched; I have had to restitch every seam that supports any weight from my armour as the seams failed.

Weaselly bit:
So, it can be done, but you do it at your own risk as results are likely to vary.

Cheers
Rochester


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Re: Dyeing an Arming doublet.

Postby Pawel Brzosko » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:59 pm

Now here's an interesting thread.

You're right that if you start dyeing the linen doublet you're running a serious risk of shrinking it. Been there, done that. More than once (for experiment purposes).
The best way to avoid it unfortunately is preshrinking the fabric before sewing the doublet which is rather unfeasible at this stage.

I have only recently discussed dyeing linen in XIV/XV century. There is a common presumption that linen was not dyed in those times since it does not 'catch' colour very easily, a dye typical for silk or wool would fade easily on linen. Also, there is little evidence of dyeing linen since it deteriorates in the ground very quickly. However I found out that there are pieces of dyed linen excavated in Birka, Sweden. Woad and madder were used. Also, I consulted Mulberry Dyer and he confirmed that a few natural dyes would work with linen rather well (said woad, madder and weld I believe) with no need for a mordant (someone already mentioned that in this thread).

I also heard that oak gall was used to dye linen brown. Anybode familiar with this technique? Wouldn't it be possible to use oak gall to get any other colour?

Coming back to the original question try to learn whether your doublet had been preshrunk before sewing. If not then avoid dyeing in hot temperatures at all cost.


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