Dyeing and re-dyeing an Elizabeth Suzann nude silk Georgia

Last year I bought a nude Georgia and ended up selling it because the color didn’t quite work for me. Earlier this year, as I started to anticipate wearing spring-ier colors, I regretted selling the Georgia and found another one to purchase. I wore it a few times over the spring, but still wasn’t 100% sure of the color. In some lights, the nude silk has a pink cast, which I really liked. In other lights, especially fluorescent ones, it just looks like an unflattering beige. What I did really like about the nude is that it reads as a sophisticated, understated color.

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The first try

I wanted to punch up the pinkish hue, so I decided to give over-dyeing the nude color a try. After checking out the Rit color recipes website, I decided Petal Pink would be the way to go. My idea was to give a very light pink overtone to the existing color.

Whelp, the first time I tried this, I ended up with a color that was somewhat pretty, but not in the least sophisticated or understated. I worried it actually read a bit Barbie-ish, although my family assured me it didn’t.

pink_georgia

I had only used a splash of the Petal Pink, but apparently, that is a very intense color. I used the bucket method described here, and stirred the top for a good 20-30 minutes by hand. The color came out much more even than my previous efforts, but just wasn’t what I was looking for.

The second try

I contemplated what to do next. I checked the Rit color recipe page again and noticed that some of the subtler pinks had some tan included in them, so I bought a bottle of that color. My first thought was to try overdyeing with the tan.

On second thought, though, I wondered if that would just make the shirt too dark overall. As I explored the Rit site, I happened across Rit Color Remover. I read reviews on Amazon and most people seemed to be saying that the product would take the dye right out of a garment. Could that really be? Did I dare try it on my precious Georgia?

I finally decided that if I wanted the softer, more sophisticated color I was looking for, I’d need to remove the color and start over. With some trepidation, I bought a box of color remover and decided to give it a try.

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I boiled a pot of water, dumped the packet of color remover into the bottom of the bucket, and poured the hot water over top of it. I ensured it was thoroughly mixed. All of this I did outside because a few people in the reviews mentioned a strong chemical smell with the product.

I got the Georgia completely wet and put it into the bucket with the color remover. Let me tell you, what happened next was like magic. I mean, magic! The color instantly came out of the top. It went from bright pink to cream instantaneously. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

georgia_color_remove

I washed the top, and tried dyeing it again. This time measuring out a very precise recipe of 1 1/4 tsp of Petal Pink to 3/4 teaspoons of tan. It still came out too pink. I’m telling you, that Petal Pink is really intense.

Third time’s a charm!

Since I’d done it before, I decided to just do it again. The top seemed to be holding up well, despite multiple dips in boiling hot water. So I got another pack of color remover and gave it another go.

This time, I used much more tan — probably about a few tablespoons, and a very scant 1/4 tsp of Petal Pink. And… I love the resulting color! It’s a very muted beige-pink. Just what I was hoping for!

pink_beige_georgia

The color came out perfectly even. The trick on this, as I’ve learned, is to keep stirring and squeezing, and moving the item around for 20-30 minutes in the dye bath. In the past, I would stir it a few times, but the constant stirring gives a much more even color. Also, I found that the smell wasn’t really that strong, so the second time I removed the dye, I did it in our basement laundry room.

Happier with my Georgia now!

I’m looking forward to wearing the Georgia even more now that I’m 100% happy with the color. If you’ve been contemplating giving this a go, you should try it. The color remover means whatever you try is reversible, and, as a last resort, you can always dye the top a dark color like black or navy.

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