Dec 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm #1252804
A while back I scored a pair of down booties for a really cheap price…however they are in a hideous smurf blue color. Can I dye these using products such as Rit? I guess my main question is, will dying them ruin some inherent property of down feathers? Would love to hear others experiencesDec 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm #1554985
@ckrusorLocale: Northwest US
I've also wondered about this. I have some down from thruhiker and I think I may try an experiment. I'll post the results.
Wool and hair are alpha-keratin, which is chemically and thermally pretty stable due to its helical structure and extensive disulphide linkages, so it can tolerate harsh chemicals and high temperatures. Down is beta-keratin, which has a wavy, sheet-like structure and very few cysteine cross-links, so it is much more sensitive to thermal and chemical damage.
I'll get some dye from Prochemical and, in a few weeks if I can find the time, I'll test the loft of the thruhiker down before and after dyeing and check out the plumes under the microscope.Dec 17, 2009 at 5:03 pm #1555005
that sounds like a good experiment…however, after research via internet, I've come to the conclusion that dying down garments isn't really feasible for other reasons. Specifically, down products are usually used in garments with DWR finish, which inherently deflects dye, liquids etc. From what I've read, attempts to dye garments with DWR usually end with the garment being splotchy. The other option is to completely strip the DWR (near impossible), but then youre faced with a down garment that has no water resistance and would proving near useless in the outdoors….argggg!Dec 18, 2009 at 9:25 am #1555215
Wear your ugly smurf booties with pride!!
It's only booties, who's going to see them except your tent mates? And let's face it, ugly booties are the least embarrassing thing your tentmates are likely to notice. If they tease you mention how little you paid and how warm your feet are.
maybe you could decorate them with a magic marker, give them a blue tiger stripe pattern or camouflage or polka-dots something. maybe a skull and cross-bones or some other similarly badass art to make them look less lame. or write the price you payed for them on the side as proof of your bargain hunting skills.
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