Part-Stripping Dye: Charcoal Deep Sea Fish

A while ago I bought a Didymos Deep Sea Fish wrap that had been dyed dark green by another mama (I think with Dharma dye) and I wanted to see how close to original I could get it.

Here’s how mine looked when I got it; the first pics are with flash (you can see contrast better – it definitely wasn’t this colour or I might have left it alone!) and the last ones without flash show the actual dark, murky green colour better (so you can see why it needed some attention quickly!):

And here’s how Deep Sea Fish look originally:

So I first need to get rid of the green completely, which involves stripping out some of the dye.  Dye stripping can be very unpredictable and I’d really like to keep the contrast of the fish so I’m reluctant to strip too much in case I end up with the whole thing all one pale colour.  I decided to start by using Dylon colour-run remover rather than pre-dye (I’ve discovered with my experiments with Rosalinde that colour run remover can ‘strip’ out an awful lot of home-dying, without taking off too much of the original colours).  After doing that, the contrast of the fish is better, but it’s still fairly green, and not really blue at all yet (the pics don’t really show it , but it definitely went less green and better fish contrast):

So I need to try pre-dye I think.  You’re meant to do a full hot wash with the pre-dye in the machine, but I’d like tohave more control over it than that so I used a whole pack of Dylon pre-dye in a sink of hot water for about 10 minutes.  I then took it out and immediately rinsed it clean of the pre-dye. I’ve written a lot more about part-stripping wraps using Dylon Pre-Dye here 😀

Here it is in the sink and rinsed wet (1st pic of the wrap is with flash, no flash ones are closer to real colour atm):

So I think it worked! I only stripped it a bit, and so the dark bits of the wrap are still very dark, but I’ve got much better contrast on the fish and a surprisingly lovely colour (though it’s still wet). It currently looks sort of dark charcoal with pale grey fish + the whole thing has a slightly purple/lilac tint to it. And no green at all. Yay! Though also no blue…

And here it is dry; I’m loving the colours more and more already….

So dry it’s basically much the same as the damp pics above; it’s a dark slatey gray, with pale lilac-grey fish. It’s also got a slightly stone-washed look to it all over – sort of like old comfy black denim jeans with a lilac tint.

I’m thinking it might be nice to dye over it with another colour and because it’s so neutral there’s so many colours I can try! I could still dye it blue to get it back to pretty close to the original (but that seems a bit boring tbh), I really like the idea of purple and even red to look a sort of stendhal/jack fish. But also because it’s neutral as it is now, it goes with almost all my clothes AND will suit DH which is fab too

So for now I’m re-breaking it by sitting on it at work and after I’ve worn it a bit I’ll decide what (if anything) to do next…. or leave it to the next mama to dye it again (not that I’m going to be quick to get rid of this one – it’s so pretty )

Actions pics! My first attempt at a DH tied at the shoulder… (light not great, but you can see the general effect)…

As all the chemicals had made the fishy wrap a bit ‘crunchy’ and stiff, I decided to send it away on holiday to stay with 4 other mamas to help me break it in to lovely softness again.  Before it went I decided to use colour run remover on the wrap again to make sure there was no un-fixed dye left.  After the stripping with pre-dye I was only expecting a little bit of dye to possibly come out, if any.  So I got a bit worried when I stuck the wrap in and the water went really dark and murky…..

Normally when you use colour run remover, the water goes the colour of the dye that’s being removed + will only go very slightly coloured when treating normal colours runs.  So I did panic a bit!

Luckily all turned out well and the colour run remover hadn’t had any effect at all, despite the murky water. Phew!

And now it’s ready to go off on it’s holidays!  (More action pics to come when it’s back).

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About emeriminni

My name's Emily and I'm a pragmatic mum to 2 inspirational children, Sling Librarian, business owner/manager, part-time student & chronic craft enthusiast. I love reading, ranting, learning and making things & I'm interested in philosophy, psychology, babywearing & practical, natural-ish parenting, and all sorts of creative things (esp. crochet, dyeing, sewing, beading and baking).
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6 Responses to Part-Stripping Dye: Charcoal Deep Sea Fish

  1. Kate says:

    i have the same wrap, dyed a darkish olive green, what a coincidence!!! i thought i would like the green more, but the fishies are a little gold and i am not loving it as much as i thought. I want to try stripping it but am scared that ill ruin it!

    • emeriminni says:

      It can be a bit worrying the first time you start dyeing/stripping things! could you try dyeing a scrap of fabric (I use old tea towels) a similar colour and practice stripping with that first? Emily x

  2. Meghan says:

    Hey Emily! I am looking into buying am anthrocite hemp indio off of the swap, it’s been dyed and “fixed” with Dharma Procion Amethyst, which I LOVE, but I’m having trouble finding info about stripping “fixed” dye. I’m not even sure if it’s possible, but any suggestions or input? Thank you SO much in advance!

    • emeriminni says:

      Hi Meghan, I believe that procion dyes are fibre reactive dyes like dylon and so should be strippable in the same ways that I’ve done to various wraps I’ve posted here (using dylon pre-dye and dylon colour run remover). When I’ve tried stripping Didymos wraps with black cotton threads (Which I believe could also apply to anthracite hemp), these black threads didn’t really loose any colour, so you may find that you keep the darkness of the wrap even if stripped. Also worth noting that some tones of dye colour seem to strip less successfully than others and so amethyst may not strip out completely. Very hard to know what results could be, and it all depends on what you’re aiming for too, but I hope you have fun! Emily x

      • Meghan says:

        Yay!! I’m so grateful that you replied! I totally appreciate it! I have thoroughly read through your stripping posts, it seems like when you really want to “get down to business” with stripping (God, this conversation is starting to sound strange) that you go with the pre-dye? So, start with the color run and then go with the pre-dye for stronger results? Thank you for taking the time with me, Emily!

      • emeriminni says:

        Yes, the colour run remover seems to remove most dye that’s not completely fixed, and when used with very hot water seems to also fade some fixed colours. The pre-dye is stronger and removes some fixed dyes completely, though some only fade and others don’t shift at all…. x

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