As you guys know, I love dyeing my clothes. Every time I put up a project that I’ve dyed I get comments from you lovely readers about your experiences: The color turns out too light, things turn out blotchy or spotted, or how they’re simply too scared to try.
Well here’s how I dye my clothes! I’ll answer all your problems and hopefully you’ll join me in dyeing your clothes!
Something to dye*
Rit dye (I prefer liquid)**
A tablespoon of laundry detergent
Metal spoon or something to stir with
*Check the fabric content. Polyester and Acrylic do not dye using this method.
**You can purchase dye at fabric stores or here. I’ve purchased from the website and have had good experiences.
Add salt to your bucket. I never measure but it’s recommended to use about 1 cup. Also add your tablespoon of laundry detergent.
Add the hottest water you can get from your tap to the bucket. Feel free to add boiling water if you’d like to take the time. Add enough water that your garment will be completely covered with the dye bath. Make sure to keep track of how many cups of water you added. You’ll need to know to get the correct color and not end up with something lighter than you expected.
Fun part: pick your color!!! I always mix several dye colors to get the color I want. I use this guide from Rit to help me out. For my shirt I used red-violet #148. Notice over each color it says the amount of dye to use per one cup of water. Take the number of cups of water you added to calculate how much dye you need and add it.
Example: The color I used called for 1 tablespoon of violet and 1 teaspoon black for every cup of water.For my t-shirt I used ten cups of water so I added ten tablespoons of violet and ten teaspoons of black.
Stir your mixture up!
Take your garment and run it under warm water soaking it thoroughly.
This helps wick the dye to every area of fabric.
Wring out the water, unwrinkle, and add it to the dye bath.
And stir some more… This is so important I’m going to write it in bold and in a larger font.
This is how you avoid getting blotches or spots.
You will need to stir for 30 minutes minimum.
When I dye something, I sit on my counter with my bucket and watch and episode of The Office or Project Runway. Helps the time go by more quickly.
Stir the garment so that the dye is flowing thru every part of the fabric.
1. Wear an apron or clothes you don’t mind getting dye on. I love my Harry Potter T for this.
2. Have a rag or paper towel near by. If you aren’t prepared you will splash dye. Things just seem to happen that way sometimes, right?
3. Your garment is going to look very dark, maybe even black while it’s in the bucket. Don’t worry. It’s normal. Don’t panic about the color and pull it out early. It will be blotchy and be lighter than you planned. (Compare the next photo with the final picture to see proof of the darker color.)
When the time is up, put on your gloves and ring out excess dye and run it under warm water. Gradually turn the water to a cooler temperature. Rinse out as much dye as possible.
Final step: send it to the washing machine. Wash it by itself with a little bit of detergent.
After my garment is washing, I go back to my kitchen and make sure to wipe down everything and clean my sink so nothing ends up a color I don’t want it to be.
Dry your garment how you normally would and you’re done!
If you’re new to dyeing things, get a couple white t-shirts from the thrift store to practice with.
If you have any questions ask them in the comments!
I’ll answer them there!
Enjoy adding color to your wardrobe!