Friday, 17 February 2012

Blackest Black review

I have made a resolution as part of the no-more-procrastination programme to start working through the two black sacks and one suitcase of assorted garments I've put aside with the vague notion of one day DIY-ing them. I figured that since this is the year of the Filthy Victorians, the Victorian replica bloomers I purchased from a theatre company might be a good place to start.

The first and most important thing I needed to do with these bloomers was to dye them black. No, not to make them more ooky-spooky (surprisingly) but because the first time I put them on I discovered they were see-through.

The dye I used was called Blackest Black, which claims to produce a deeper colour than "all-purpose" drugstore dyes and last longer without fading. Its makers also boast that 'after extensive research, we believe we've found the blackest clothing dye'. Could this be the perfect Goth DIY product? Well, being the helpful girl that I am, I've put it to the test for you.

Blackest Black seems to be generally designed for restoring your faded black clothing to its former midnight hue, with one bottle capable of dyeing 6-9 T-shirts or 2-3 pairs of trousers or jeans. The instructions told me to double the dose for coloured or white items, but since I was only dyeing one garment I thought I'd see if I could get away with using half a bottle.

I have to say, I found the product really easy to use - I was even sent my own stirring stick along with my little dyeing kit. The only thing I had to purchase separately was salt, which most people would probably have in the house anyway.
I has a stick
The dyeing process was incredibly simple, helped along by clear, friendly, jargon-free instructions (step two: RELAX) and the fact that there is really nothing difficult about stirring stuff in a bucket. Preparing the mixture and saturating the garment with dye does take half-an-hour or so, including the recommended twenty minutes of gentle stirring, so it's handy to pop on a CD or something whilst you stir away.

The results after using half a bottle of Blackest Black looked like this:
Blacker than the original product, certainly, but I didn't feel they were quite deserving of the 'blackest black' moniker yet, and in natural daylight the colour looked faded and a tad patchy. So I bunged them through another dye bath, using another half a bottle of dye.

The result this time was much closer to what I'd been hoping for:
Unlike dyeing your hair, it doesn't matter how much extra time you leave your garments to soak for, which was lucky because both times I wandered away, got distracted and left the bloomers for half-an-hour to an hour longer than the recommended 30-60 minutes.

I was really pleased with how easy the product was to use and the final colour result (or lack thereof, to be more precise, with black not being actually a colour and all). I liked that Blackest Black is made by a friendly company with a sense of humour (their FAQ, in case you think I'm joking), which as you can see is a lovely even velvety black, and will be saving my other bottle to re-vamp a faded jacket or two.

My bloomers now need a bit of stitching at the sides and a zip putting in (they are designed to be laced up but since I intend to wear them as outerwear that's not going to work) and then they will be ready to wear, without baring my bum cheeks to all and sundry. :-)

EDIT: Blackest Black have kindly offered a discount code to readers of Stripy Tights...! They say, "If you would like to give us a try, you can use the coupon code "DARKDELIGHTS" for a 10% discount (after the current Valentine's Day special ends)."


linnea-maria said...

Oh what a find! They are gorgeous and they turned out perfect! I'm looking forward to see them on you in a complete filthy victorian outfit!

Michiel said...

Hi Amy, thank you for the wonderful (and funny!) review! Congratulations on your now ooky-spooky and hopefully opaque bloomers :D

To your esteemed readers: if you would like to give us a try, you can use the coupon code "DARKDELIGHTS" for a 10% discount (after the current Valentine's Day special ends (which is still running because I've been lazy)).

Thanks again!

Blackest Black

P.S. I love the new name :)

Unlacing the Victorians said...

Great job on the bloomers! They look perfectly gothicly neo-Victorian for your purposes!

Cupcake.on.Crack said...

THANK YOU! For making this post, i was planning on dyeing a cute lacey/flouncy dress I found at a dollar sale. :3 thank you.

Anonymous said...

I like the new improved black. It stands out more darker as I see the comparison of before and after. A DIY job well done :)

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

They're so cute! Commenter (and now blogger) Miss Gothy Girl made mine for me, crotchless, to be worn over my corsets in my full gear. I LOVE THEM. Bloomers are a great thing to have when decked out.

kakuidori said...

i think it really is a good result for the bloomers being white in the beginning. may i ask... usually those black dyes are greenish or blueish but this one seems to be exactly black/dark grey in the pictures so is it the same in reality?

Katherine :) said...

Thank you!!! I've been looking for a black dye to dye some of my clothes with for ages!!

Joyce said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you - my favourite go-to dress (which I have had since the early 90s) is suffering from patchiness and desperately needs to be redyed. I hadn't done anything yet because I haven't been able to find a decent dye and the dress originally cost over $100 - too expensive to risk to RIT dye!!! This sounds like exactly what I need and judging from your experience, their "Blackest Black Double Dose" (it's a *heavy* dress) will probably work nicely. Thank you so much for the review & the link!

Mjolnir said...

Happy happy joy joy! Even the pricier black dyes I've used turned my blue jeans navy blue and my white bedsheet slate grey. Thank you for the review, Amy, and thank you Blackest Black for the coupon!

Amy Asphodel said...

Michiel - thank YOU! :-D

kakuidori - yes, they are definitely black not blue or green. The website says there is a hint of blue in the dye but I honestly can't see it!

Orlando said...

Great job! But how are you going to use the bloomers as outerwear?

Excellent review and very timely as my girlfriend has a skirt to do. We think all we'll need to buy is the dye as we have something to stir with, latex gloves etc. As for the potions... In addition to the dye one only needs some washing soda (they call it "soda ash") and some salt, quite a lot of salt it seems. The calculator at Blackest Black's website suggests a kilo of salt to treat a pair of jeans weighing 800g!

Much respect to Blackest Black for offering your readers the discount.


Amy Asphodel said...

They did actually supply a couple packets of soda ash with my kit. :-)

Outerwear as in, not underwear. I wear bloomers with tights, boots and a T-shirt, usually.

Michiel said...

Orlando - if you can find the soda ash locally, then you do indeed only need the dye. You may find it at craft stores that sell "fibre reactive dye", or at hardware stores that carry pool supplies. And yes, it needs lots and lots of salt :) Luckily the cheapest store brand will do just fine.

Joyce - please do make sure your dress is made of natural fibres (typically cotton - likely if you say it's heavy) and is not "dry clean only" before you risk dyeing it!

If there's anything else anyone would like to know, you can always contact me at michiel(at)blackestblack(dot)com.

All the best,

Anonymous said...

I has a stick too

Gothica Gothique Goth Blog said...

Oh, man, this sounds like it might be very dangerous stuff for me... I can just see myself buying up all kinds of blankets and drapes and underwear and dying them...

Michiel said...

We would not necessarily be opposed to that.


Also, I laughed out loud at the poem, "Becky", you posted :)

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