Upcycle Project Hand Dyed Lingerie

repurposed vintage upcycled vintage

One of our favorite products to upcycle are genuine vintage lingerie garments with a stain or spot that just won’t come out! Take a look at how we hand-dyed a collection of otherwise unsellable vintage lingerie. By giving them a contemporary twist, we bring you new vintage clothing that’s both eco-conscious and stylish!
hand dyed lingerie upcycle project how to upcycle vintage lingerie
This isn’t a how-to guide for how to dye lingerie because the steps will vary between brands and fabric types. Here’s a step-by-step guide of what we do with helpful tips:

Step 1: Prep

Check the fabric label. Before buying any dye, check the fabric label of the garment to ensure you buy the right type. Each type of fabric is going to require a different kind of dye and some fabrics accept the color more readily than others.

Don’t forget that color mixing rules still apply. If you’re dying a blue dress red it’s going to end up purple. For this project we used all white and ivory lingerie.

Product: Lingerie (Nylon)

Dye Used: Idye Poly (Purple)

Time: 2 hours per batch

hand dyed purple during process of dying vintage lingerie

Step 2: Wash First

Wash your clothing. You don’t want to dye dirty lingerie. Sweat or dirt can affect how well the dye ‘takes’ to the fabric. Without a thorough cleaning your dyed lingerie may end up looking patchy.

boiling water to hand dye lingerie outside

Step 3: Boil Water & Stir

When using this type of dye, you’ll need to ‘boil’ the lingerie for the whole time it’s being dyed. First, we place the dye in a big pot of boiling water. You don’t want to reuse the pot or stirring utensil for food again, find a cheap pot and pan at your local thrift store. We like to use a large cauldron over a fire pit in the backyard, weather permitting.

Place your lingerie into the boiling pot with dye. Just keep stirring, stirring, stirring…make yourself comfortable and don’t stop stirring – without frequent movement the dye can end up patchy. It’s important to keep the water boiling the entire time to keep the temperature up.

The longer you leave the lingerie in the dye, and the stronger you make the solution (i.e. more dye or less water) the darker or more vibrant the result will be. Keep the clothing in the dye for as saturated as you’d like the color to appear. We removed the lavender purple garments first and the ultra violet purple garments after more time had passed.

wash dyed clothing in washing machine after dying process

Step 4: Rinse & Wash Again

Once the dye has been left on for the required time you’ll need to rinse the dyed garments very thoroughly until the water runs clear. It’s next to impossible to get all the dye out at this stage, however, so we wash the lingerie alone in the washing machine again now. It’s important to wash the lingerie again, ALONE! You don’t want the dye to leak and stain other clothes in the wash.

hand dyed clothing hanging on trees in yard after dying process

We have found, after many batches of dying different fabrics, this is one of the easier fabric dying projects because of the combination of nylon fabric and this type of dye. No two pieces are exactly the same, it’s a new science experiment each time we dye a batch of vintage clothing! Sometimes the color comes out wrong, sometimes it comes out just perfectly. If the color comes out wrong or uneven, we tie-dye that garment.

rack of hand dyed purple vintage lingerie dresses tops and slips

With our commitment to breathing new life into pieces past their prime, any garments that appear too pre-loved or are unable to be sold because of a flaw (stain, rip, hole, etc.) are upcycled, repurposed, or reconstructed.

Take a look at more projects here!