Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dyeing Your Own Pearls

You are able to dye your own real or fake (not as porous as the real thing) pearls with this recipe. You could even try other dyeable items too.

It truly is easy. You just have to remember you always first do a colour test as you don't want to be disappointed. It's like when you dye or streak your hair; the hairdresser or yourself should always test a swatch first before you do the whole batch. Also keep in mind, when you dye anything it may get lighter gradually because of sunlight. I recommend you dye your MOP or whatever you choose to colour, dry it and leave it out in the sunlight overnight and see if this is the result you want.

You could choose to dye the pearls individually in a dish or on its strand. If you decide to dye the pearls on the strand you will notice that the dye will be more noticeable to the edges.

When using a store brand like Rit dye following the manufactures instructions to a point is important. The dye must be well mixed otherwise your pearls may end up having some spots. I suggest using a sieve of some sort to get all the reminants of the dye out prior to dying your beauties. You may have to adjust a bit to your own taste of the colour desired in the concentration of dye used; how much water did you put in; was the water cold or warm and how long did you leave it in the dye. If you love the results and you want to dye some more in the future consider writing down the porportions of all that was used and keeping it in a safe place.

You could make your own dye if you so wish. Please note that it will almost be impossible to make the dye twice. You must still do a colour test as the store bought dye. Place your pearls in the dye boiling waters and then let it simmer (pearls must be covered at all times) or when the water is cooling down in the pot. A double boiler is totatlly recommended as you don't want your pearls to lose its hardness or being suseptible in being fragile. Allow your pearls to sit in the water until you have achieved the colour wanted. Once when you have achieved the colour desired, you rinse the pearls with distilled water or, if you must, under the water tap until the dye is removed. After you rinse the pearls place them on an absorbent paper towels or hang them up to dry. If you ever boiled and coloured eggs for Easter you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't done such a thing, I know you are missing out on a lot of fun especially with kids.

Now you are asking what do I use to make your own dye. Try onion peel, flowers, herbal teas, spices, canned or fresh vegetables. If you add vinegar to the dye it will deepen the colour (approx. 1 tsp.).

Have fun dying your pearls or what ever you choose to dye.


Empress Kateri said...

Nice blog! I've dyed silk scarves before, and used silk dye along with natural dyes, like coffee. It's fun to see how they turn out. ^_^


Wezz said...

Ooh, I love that kind of info! Thanks!

Wezz -

Anna Lee said...

Wow Izzy! What a great idea and I agree that dying our own pearls does sound like such a fun project even something we could do with kids!
I enjoy your posts...
-Anna Lee in Toronto

Wilma said...

Great article on dying pearls, I didn't know you could do that! Anxious to see your store when its up

Jewelry Elegance by jill said...

Great blog! Great information! Can't wait to try dying my own pearls...

Anonymous said...

Izzy, what a great idea and thanks for sharing it with all of us! I had no idea you could dye pearls----what a great thing to get it to match or complement beads you already have to combine in a design!

Stefani said...

I had no idea you could dye pearls!

JB Design Boutique said...

Very informative. I had no idea you could die your own pearls.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, how interesting, I've got to remember this when I need to match certain colors! I'd always heard walnut shells will make a good color, as will coffee! Think about blueberry pearls, or strawberry. Wonder what a dark merlot wine would do (if I can drink the rest lol). Teri

Perfectly Twisted said...

Awesome post! I had no idea to ever try dying pearls so I've noted it to try now! You're wonderful to share a great bit of information - thanks and keep up the beautiful creations! Your blog looks great!

Glass0Beads said...

Hiya Izzy. Like the others, I too had never thought to dye pearls. I've a bunch of white ones that just don't 'speak' to me. I see a dye bath in my future.
In my distant past I cleaned, carded, spun and dyed wool: with commercial dyes and natural ones too. Many of the natural dyes, walnut shells, onion skins, and such turn things into yellow-amber colours. But fruits like blueberry, blackberry, currants, cranberries, ... will make some beautiful colours.
Thanks Izzy for prompting old and happy memories.
Helen Glass0Beads