Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Brining for dummies

As I was trolling Pinterest, I saw a post about brining, looked at it, thought 'oh, interesting', filed it away in the grey matter and promptly forgot about it.

World Autism Awareness week is the last week of March into April and in the United States, national autism awareness month is April. A project I'm working on currently for two brothers uses flannel and denim. Before I send these out, I will prewash them, but it occurred to me that even after prewashing, the denim and flannel will, for an individual with Autism, be stiff and rough, more than to a neuro-typical.

So I decided to brine the denim. What is brining going to do to it? Its going to soften it up, hopefully way up. People describe the softness as 'vintage' which brings to my mind broken in and washed. A lot.
Ratios for brining a single tee shirt were available at octane shop, but I have at least two yards of upholstery grade denim. A quart of water and a half cup of salt were not going to cut it.

When making brine, I recommend using warm tap water, and if you've got a rinse sprayer, put the salt in the container first and spray it. This will help the salt dissolve in the water, giving you a better brine. Yay brine. (In case you were wondering, that is a half gallon mason jar I'm mixing water and salt into. it was $0.79 at the thrift shop.).

This is a gallon and a half of water to two yards of fabric. Not enough water. 

At left, two gallons, right, three. I put the empty jar in there to help weight it down and keep it under the water.

Mark the calendar, wait three days aaaaaaaand...

Toss it in the wash. Put it in the dryer. Poof. noticeably softer denim.