As a middle aged housewife and someone who made it through the 1980’s by salt water soaking new jeans to keep them dark, I had no idea what clothes brining was until yesterday.  My husband and I tie dye once a year, so I was trying to recall if I had heard of how to do it without having to buy the soda stuff you soak the clothes in before dying them.

The soda at our local craft stores is sold in tiny bags, and looks like a dime bag of cocaine.  I am not real thrilled about carrying 2 or 3 of those babies in my purse!  I really do not want to go to prison due to sloppy lab work on my tie dye supplies.  Well, they look suspect.

I felt like I had seen something during my long hours of research on Pinterest, so I began surfing….  OK, I did not manage to stay focused long enough to find the soda stuff on Pinterest, but I did find some really cool ways to reshape and fancy up tee shirts, and a post on brining tee shirts to make them feel soft and vintage.

Here’s what you need:

  1. a tee shirt,
  2. 1 quart of water,
  3. 1/2 cup of salt,
  4. 3 days time.

There was no mention of what kind of container to use, so right now I am using a big plastic bowl.  The Dollar Tree punch bowl seems to be fine for this, but I can see trying it in my sauerkraut jar when I am not fermenting cabbage in it.

I’m not even doing a tee shirt in my punch bowl right now.  I made a shirt by tracing an old hippie tunic I “found” in my husband’s closet that I then “adopted” as my own.  It is cotton, and very colorful.  Since you set colors with salt water, I figured it can’t hurt it.  It is scratchy and stiff now, so it could make it wonderful.  Besides, I can’t test brine a tee shirt until I have one to test brine, and I would need to use one of my husband’s shirts.  Mine are all, … well …, mine.  Since the hippie shirt incident and before that some silk Hawaiian shirts that also seemed to want to be mine from his closet, I am pretty well banned from his closet.

If this shirt looks like a herd of pigs ran over it in 3 days, or it is just a huge Pinterest fail – I will comment on it.  If it is exactly as posted and makes it soft and wonderful – I’ll comment on that too.

I will say since I have been only using the clothes line to dry clothes this year (we have solar panels now, so I want to use solar to dry my clothes as well), a good portion of my “natural fiber” clothing seems to be made with natural loofa fiber.  This clothes brining could be a hide saver for me!  I’m not exactly walking around in a cloud of comfy here!

UPDATE:  IT WORKED!!!!!!!!  My shirt is not only looking kind of vintage, but not in a bad way, and it is SOFT!!!!  This clothes brining is now officially my new thang!!

The 2 views are straight off the clothes line today.  The first photo shows the entire shirt.  It looks OK, so the 2nd photo is up close of the neck, and I think you can see the comfort.

Gotta go buy more salt!  I’m just using what is cheapest at the store, and tap water.  I’m sticking with that!!

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