Rich Colors

Hi! I was wondering if you could give me some advice? I love rich colors and so decided to make my duvet cover out of a very saturated blue shantung silk. I pre-washed it and made it (even though I knew it would lose its nice crisp hand, it still maintained the strong color and the subtle sheen) and it’s been wonderful. But I’ve noticed the area around the foot of the bed is looking decidedly faded. That part of the bed is under the window and so I’m assuming the sun has had an effect on the color! (My cat’s also sleep there…It couldn’t be due to oils or anything, right?!?) I paid a lot of money for the fabric (and put a lot of time into making it) so would like to save it if I can…Do you think this could be successfully dyed back to a nice rich saturated color again? I am okay if the shade of blue is not an exact match…just as long as it is a rich strong blue. Also, do you know of any ways to prevent more fading? (Fabric treatments or something?) Thank you VERY much in advance for any help that you can give me…I am pretty unfamiliar with dyeing!
Again, Thanks!!!

Dear Jessika,
I am sure that your bedcover is beautiful. I love rich deep silk, too. I made my bedcover in linen (which I dyed a beautiful avocado green) so that it would withstand cats, dog, etc and could be washed frequently.
Sun fading is difficult to deal with. Not only does it fade unevenly but it also weakens the fabric. You can try dyeing it again. Go to www.dharmatrading.com, request a catalog, look at their reactive dye colors (inside the front cover), read all the instructions. You should be able to do it in your washing machine. This is not really a long term solution, just a fix. You should be able to get another year or so out of the fabric that way. In some cases, I have re-dyed silk that turned out better than it was originally. But the results are not really predictable, so you will just have to try it.
Cats are off the hook, they do not cause fabric fading. I am pretty sure it is sun fading. Silk does not withstand direct sun very well at all. As an alternative, you could try rayon, which takes a dye beautifully, is washable, and is fairly light fast. I will ask Judith, my mentor at fabrics.net, if she knows any preventative for sun fading other than window treatments.
Have fun and keep me posted!!

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