Maintain Dyeable Shoes by Following These Suggestions

Published: 27th October 2009
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You've spent hours selecting the perfect color to dye your wedding shoes. So it's important to maintain them before setting foot on the aisle. To make your dyeable shoes last, have them done by a reliable professional. Shoes that are poorly dyed will bleed, streak, flake or discolor when exposed to weather. Remember that dyeing is not an exact science, and even the professionals can't guarantee perfect consistency and saturation of color. To ensure the best possible results, follow these simple suggestions.

Dyeable Shoe Success

The dyeing process takes time, typically seven to ten days. So be sure to give yourself plenty of time to plan for mishaps. If you want to maintain the high quality look of your shoes over time, then you have to leave enough time for the dyeing process.

Be sure to take into account the type of fabric you're dyeing too, since each fabric needs to be treated differently before and after the dyeing process. Leather needs its protective layer stripped beforehand, while suede needs to be completely dried after cleaning, since moisture will prevent the dye from taking. Before picking a dyeable shoe, be sure to ask about special fabric considerations.

Dye is applied with a damp sponge evenly over the shoe. This is where years of experience come into play. If too much dye is used, streaks can appear. Satin and fabric shoes absorb more dye, while leather and suede can be more resistant to color. More than one coat of dye is usually required. In between coats, the dye needs to be left to dry completely, at least 24 hours per application.

Not all fabrics are alike. Many fabrics will repel water rather than absorb it, which means that it may be hard to get the exact color you want. Other fabrics come pre-treated with scotch guard, which will also prevent the shoes from dyeing correctly. If you want a pair of shoes that will absorb the right color and maintain it, it's best to choose shoes that are manufactured in materials that are specifically made for dyeing.

Protecting Dyeable Shoes

Once your shoes have been dyed and are ready to wear, it's a good idea to apply a coat of protection, especially for satin or fabric shoes, which are not waterproof. Dyes are water soluble and if they come into contact with excessive moisture, they may bleed or stain. Without this protective coating, you are liable to be left with stained feet, streaky shoes, or even worse, a stained wedding gown. Dyeable shoe seal usually comes in the form of a water repellent spray.

Cleaning or Touching up Dyeable Shoes

Of course, satin or fabric shoes can get wet even with a protective seal, but the seal can help protect them from running or streaking. If your shoes do get wet, you should re-apply the protective seal.

Once satin or silk shoes have been dyed, they should not be cleaned. However it is possible to touch up small scratches or blemishes by dipping a small brush into dye and lightly applying to the damaged area.

Fabric shoes need to be approached much like satin shoes, and cleaning should be left to a professional. If you develop stains or spots on your fabric shoes you may need to have them re-dyed. Suede shoes can only be cleaned with a special wire brush.

Leather is a perfect choice for dyeable shoes. Leather shoes are long lasting, comfortable and breathable. Plus they hold their color for many years and won't run or stain. However, to maintain their color after being dyed, leather shoes will benefit from a protective coating.

To maintain leather shoes, there are a few general rules to follow. They should not be become too hot, too dry or too cold, as extremes can damage them. Leather is a natural material and should be stored out of direct sunlight since this will fade their color. Keep leather shoes in a well ventilated area that doesn't get damp. And use special leather cleaner to take care of scuffs or spots, since household cleaner might remove the top layer of color.

Synthetic shoes on the other hand don't need this much maintenance. Remember that regardless of the fabric, the color will bleach out if they're left in the sun for too long. You can spot clean synthetic shoes with a damp cloth and a touch of detergent.

Knowing how to maintain your wedding shoes is important. When the big day arrives, the last thing you want to be worried about is streaky, runny shoes. By following these simple suggestions, you can maintain your dyeable shoes for picture perfect results.

Sandy Darson is a freelance writer who writes about weddings, usually focusing on a specific aspect of a wedding like dyeable shoes.

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