I’ve been looking for my perfect, supportive red wrap. I love the look of Linuschka Begonia, but I’m not so keen on thin wraps that can be diggy, so that put me off. But then I tried a Kokadi Mocha/Pink Stars. It’s 100% cotton and very thick and supportive, so I know it’ll last us out of babywearing days. I just needed to adjust the colour, and my washing machine’s been working overtime this week…..
Here’s the wrap before I started throwing chemicals at it:
I then part stripped it (like I did to my Charcoal Deep Sea Fish).
Part-Stripping Wraps (or anything else I guess)
I do this by half filling a non-metallic sink or tub with very hot water and dissolving a pack of Dylon Pre-Dye into it. I then wet the wrap thoroughly with plain water and plunged it in. Wearing rubber gloves quickly work along the full length of the wrap, moving it around and squeezing it along the length to get the pre-dye into it evenly all the way along. I keep doing this until it’s taken out as much colour as I want. Then quickly plunge the wrap into cold water and rinse very thoroughly. Wash as normal in the machine.
Things to consider when stripping wraps
The amount of dye stripped is affected by how concentrated the solution is, how hot the water is, and how long you leave the fabric in for. With a long wrap like this one (4.7m) you can’t really get away with less than 5 minutes if you want to make sure it’s even all the way along the wrap, so for less stripping use cooler (but still hot) water.
Take the wrap out before it gets as pale as you’d like as more dye than is visible will have loosened and will come out when you wash. The difference isn’t usually very much, but worth taking into account. You can always strip more, but you can’t as easily add dye back, especailly if there’s a contrasting pattern.
It also depends on the original dye method and colours. In general, reds and pinks strip out first, with pinks often stripping completely and reds, oranges and browns stripping to yellow. Yellow sometimes strips out completely, but not always. Greens often strip out leaving various levels of yellow, but blues and purples are harder, with blues and blacks stripping the least successfully. Most home-dyed (e.g. Dylon) colours will strip out completely, especially if you leave the fabric in the solution overnight, though I haven’t tried all Dylon colours, so I’d be really interested to know if any don’t.
It’s also worth knowing that some wraps change texture once stripped. Most noticabley, Natibaby wraps containing bamboo viscose loose a bit of length and get thicker and more supportive (they do this when dyed too). It’s worth testing on a scrap if trying something that isn’t cotton or linen.
Part-Stripping Kokadi Pink/Brown Stars Prediction + Results
If I stripped the Kokadi Stars completely, I’d expect the pink to go completely, and the brown to end up as a shade of yellow. I didn’t want to loose too much contrast, so I just wanted to tone down the brown, and loose the pink a bit.
So into the sink the stars went. In this case I used hottest tap water plus 2 kettles full of boiled water and the wrap stayed in the water for almost 5 minutes (moving continuously). I put too much boiling water in, so it did strip a touch more than I’d planned, but still gave a lovely neutral canvas with plenty of contrast left:
So now to Begonify it!
Here’s a pic of Linuschka Begonia so you get an idea of the look I love:
[Pic to add… I can’t find one! It’s bright red with circles woven into it all over. Anyone got a pic I could use? :D]
So, into the washing machine with salt and one pack of Tulip Red Dylon Dye went my newly part-naked stars.
But it wasn’t enough and out they came like this:
In they went again with the same.
But it still wasn’t enough; this Kokadi Stars is very dense fabric and clearly has a large capacity for dye. I’d forgotton to weigh it while dry, but to get a really good strong red with Dylon Tulip Red, you always seem to need a lot more dye than the packet advises you should going by the fabric weight.
So in they went again with the last of my salt, and all the remains of red-toned dye I had left: 1/2 a pack each of Tulip Red and Flamingo Pink (I wasn’t worried about the pink as I knew that it wouldn’t show through all the red, but I did need more dye to get the good colour saturation I wanted) plus a pack of red hand dye, which does work in the machine too, though you need more of it, but in this case every little helps!
A dye wash and many, many rinse washes later (red is very persistent and needs lots of rinsing if you don’t want to stain your clothes/skin when it rains), and my stars have been truely vamped up with a lovely, rich, bright, scarletty blood red! As the stars are woven in, they stand out a bit anyway and this is subtley highlighted by the bit of colour contrast still visible. Gorgeous!
Here’s the finished result (though very hard to catch the true colours and contrast in pics):
Now it just needs a lot of breaking in after all that washing! I’m off to get wrapping! 😀