General ramblings

Dye boots dye…!

Those of you who have been following closely (and why wouldn’t you be..?!) will be familiar with the trials and tribulations that are being caused to me by boots at the moment. It is my own fault. I should have just bought some new boots before My Make Do and Mend Year started, and then none of this would have happened. But I guess that would have been cheating. And it’s all good character building stuff. Or that’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

Just to recap, I had these boots:

old boots2which I LOVED. And wore to death. They have been to the cobblers twice and then the zip broke, and was mended, and broke again. So I admitted defeat, and headed to E-bay, and bought some secondhand:


When they arrived, they weren’t quite what I wanted, and it was obvious that the quality wasn’t that great, but I decided to suck it up in the spirit of Making Do.

And then I saw these ones in a charity shop:

cat boots1

They looked pretty much brand new, and were Caterpillar ones, and I thought they would be much better quality. So I snapped them up.

Now, in the shop, and in the picture, they look quite a nice tasteful kind of grey colour.

BUT in daylight, they are a very definite wierd purpley colour. Arrghhhh!

So I decided I should dye them. And I consulted all the lovely people in the Twitter-sphere about the best way to go about this. The lovely Ginny of Sweet Myrtle and Alice and Ginny fame, very kindly compiled a whole document with links to various pieces on natural dyes, and how to use them. And this was my intention. To experiment with some natural dyes and see what happened.

But then this happened to the ‘new’ pair of longer boots:

Broken boots1On both boots. I took them to the cobbler (who is unexplicably very grumpy-just so you know) and he used his magic shoe fixing glue. But that didn’t work, and they were broken again within 2-3 days and I was a whole ÂŁ3.50 poorer. So then I tried the hot glue gun (or more accurately, got hubby to) This repair lasted slightly longer, about 2-3 weeks this time, but now this too has failed.

So now I am getting wet feet, and the need to some more boots is more urgent.

And it is at this point that I have to confess that I went and bought a Dylon suede dye.

dye boots21

I think I am within (my own) rules to do this, and if it is a choice between this or having to buy another pair of boots, then I will go with this. BUT it really doesn’t look like that nice stuff. It has big orange and black crosses all over it,

dye boots31

which can never be a good thing. And I’m sure it is probably not at all good for the environment.

But I have no time at the moment to experiment with natural dyes unfortunately, what with Christmas preparations and present making, and various other things I have volunteered myself for, so I gave it a whirl.

This is the boots before, in the daylight

dye boots1They still don’t look as purple as they in reality, but take my word for it, they are an odd colour.

I followed the instructions to the word (except the one’s about wearing gloves…)

dye boots41

but by the time I finished I wasn’t that impressed. They looked darker, but they certainly weren’t black. But I told myself to be patient (not one of my strong points!)

Here they are after about 3 hours drying, under indoor lights, andI have to admit they are looking blacker:

dye boots51And here they are in the daylight the next morning:

dye boots dyed1

They are actually pretty black. Well, maybe more grey then black, but certainly not purple anymore-hurray!

And just in case it’s hard to tell, here’s a ‘before and after’:



..and after

..and after

So, what do you think? Not bad hey! I know it’s not the most environmentally sound solution, but at least they will get some wear, and it has to be better than getting a new pair 🙂

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  • Reply suresh September 3, 2014 at 11:20 am

    but i had a pair of cat boots one of them had faded its colour what to do….the colour of boots is honey nubuck

    • Reply Jen September 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      I’m not sure how well it would work to try and even up the colours-worth a go though?

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  • Reply mummigrants December 4, 2012 at 10:58 am

    yes I did think of that but that would mean spending some money! 😉

    • Reply Jen December 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      Cheaper than new boots though..!

  • Reply mummigrants December 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I love your tenacity……and your impatience hehe
    I brought two pairs of boots with me from the UK when we emigrated to Australia…..both have holes at the toe area and one pair is very much in the style of your boots above. I am loathed to by new pairs as the body of them is still great but I can only ever wear them when it’s not raining!! 🙂

    • Reply Jen December 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      Have you tried taking them to the cobblers? I’m sure in the good old days you we have been able to get them re-soled but not sure if anyone does that anymore 🙁

  • Reply Helen December 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Hi there, your boots look great. I queried on twitter if there were any more environmentally friendly options available than Dylon on the market and was reassured by a professional dyer that restrictions on home dyes sold in the UK are very stringent and not that bad for the environment individually. Which is grand as my favourite old dress is in huge need of a makeover before next summer 🙂

    • Reply Jen December 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      Fab! That’s good to know. Makes me feel much less bad-thankyou for letting me know! Would love to see the dress when it is done 🙂

  • Reply Hilary December 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I think you have done a good job ~ they look smarter and newer and darker ~ and being Caterpillar will hopefully see you through the winter 🙂

    • Reply Jen December 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      Thanks Hilary. Hopefully they will do the job!

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