Baskets and baubles to dye for

By Brenda Owen

Daily Journal

Both natural and white as well as previously dyed wicker and straw baskets can be dyed quickly and easily in a bath of colored dye, according to the experts at Rit¨ Dye.

The easiest way to dye a basket or hat is to submerge the entire item in a large container of the dye bath, then allow the basket or bonnet to air dry. For really large baskets that don't fit easily into a container, use a paintbrush or sponge to apply the dye. Either way, natural materials will have the appearance of stained wood, while white will look as if it's been painted.

Quick and easy, the dye dipping method will turn costume pearls to bright new colors so they'll finish off that hot new outfit. Or add new life to dingy silk or plastic flowers to brighten up this year's Easter basket.

Here's how:

- Mix 1 teaspoon dye in one quart of hot water.

- Add cleaned plastic beads and earrings to the dye bath.

- After 5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon or tongs.

- Rinse in warm water and let dry, and you're ready to go.

To dye silk or plastic flowers, immerse only the flower portion of each piece so the stem is not in the dye bath (or put masking tape around the stem to keep it free from the dye let sit five minutes; rinse and dry.

Use your washing machine to dye several pieces black or other dark colors, for smaller loads, like one pair of gloves or a single blouse, that will be dyed a light or medium shade use your sink or the easy "bucket" technique. Then just follow the package directions.

When dying fabric items, such as gloves, make sure whites are their whitest and colors their brightest before dying to ensure maximum success. Special products are available to remove much of the old color and bleach out the fabric. Follow directions to get your pieces ready for dying.

For more information on dying baskets and accessories, write to: Rit Consumer Affairs, Dept. FF1, P. O. Box 21070, Indianapolis, IN 46221.

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