How can I dye a "spot clean only" polyester dress from cream to white?

Name: Angela


Rit dye powder-whitener & brightener 1 ounce

Rit Dye Powder-Whitener & Brightener

Fabric treatment brightens white fabrics and makes them "pop" under black light. For use on washable materials only.


Dyes color remover powder 2 oz. box

Dye color remover powder

Rit Color Remover safely removes most colors from washable fabrics.


Country or region: Labrador, Canada

Message: Hi there, I have a cream colored, 100% polyester wedding dress that says 'Do not dry clean', spot clean only w. cold water and a mild daughter would like to wear it for her wedding but she wants the dress to be white. Is it at all possible for me to dye the dress from cream to white? I've searched everywhere but all of the questions seem to be dyeing to color and not to white. Please help, thank you so much!!

No, you cannot do anything to change the color of a garment that is not washable. Immersing the garment in water to change its color may cause the dress to fall apart, or cause the trim to come right off of the dress.

I suspect the trim may have been glued on, using a glue that is not suitable for clothing, as as otherwise there's little reason not to allow even dry-cleaning. There are fabric glues that easily survive gentle washing or dry-cleaning, but it seems that the maker of your dress could not be bothered to use appropriate materials.

The method used to remove color from polyester requires immersing it in very hot water with a chemical color remover (not bleach); this does not always work, depending on the source of the original color. The method used to brighten a slightly off-white fabric to true white requires immersing it in hot water with a fluorescent brightener, which is a sort of dye that absorbs ultraviolet light and converts it to visible blue light. Your dress cannot be immersed in water, so neither of these procedures will be possible.

I'm sorry I can't give you better news.

(Please help support this web site. Thank you.)

Posted: Sunday - December 08, 2013 at 12:17 PM          

Follow this blog on twitter here.

Home Page ]   [ Hand Dyeing Top ]   [ Gallery Top ]   [ How to Dye ]   [ How to Tie Dye ]   [ How to Batik ]   [ Low Water Immersion Dyeing ]   [ Dip Dyeing ]   [ More Ideas ]   [ About Dyes ]   [ Sources for Supplies ]   [ Dyeing and  Fabric Painting Books ]   [ Links to other Galleries ]   [ Links to other informative sites ] [ Groups ] [ FAQs ]   [ Find a custom dyer ]   [ search ]   [ contact me ]  

© 1999-2011 Paula E. Burch, Ph.D. all rights reserved