Fabric Dyeing Tips and Tricks

Dyeing your own fabric can be very satisfying and allows you to get just the color and shade you want for your project. This is a guide about fabric dyeing tips and tricks.


September 10, 2015 Flag
7 found this helpful

Did I say "dying?" I meant "dyeing", as in dyeing material! I found a great new looking, three piece heavy duty (quality) bathroom rug set at a garage sale recently. They were priced for only $1 and looked great. The only problem? They were light blue, not the color I wanted for my bathroom.

At that price for that value, I ended up buying them anyway and decided that I would try to dye them myself. Now I haven't dyed anything in a long time and worried they wouldn't come out consistently colored and dark enough. Boy was I pleasantly surprised!

I dyed them in the washing machine according to the directions on the package, Rit Dye in this case. I just filled a small load with hot water and added the dye, mixed it and then added the rugs and let it sit for the allotted time. Then I sent it through the rest of the cycle at the end.

They all came out pretty great, if I must say so myself! One box (around $3) gave me the set of three heavy rugs a deep, attractive green I was looking for! See the photo of the three rugs hanging on the line. The light blue rug was a similar color to their original color. I just didn't think to photo them first.

So if you see a deal too good to turn down; some curtains, rugs, even clothes at a garage sale or thrift store, don't be afraid to color them to your liking. Don't be afraid to Dye! :D

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August 27, 2016 Flag
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How do I change a blue scrub shirt to navy blue with food coloring?

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August 29, 20160 found this helpful

I have no experience with dying cloth with food colouring. It seems to me it would be an expensive way to go. Why not get some Rit fabric dye, which is available in many places, and use that? It is not expensive, and dying a blue shirt to dark navy will work very well with navy Rit dye. Also, I am sure there is lots of helpful hints with the dye and on the Rit website.

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August 8, 2012 Flag

I grew up in a house where Mama made all my clothes and I remember her explanations of why the dye had to be "set" in cold salt water. She also told me about pre-shrinking new fabric so that the garment wouldn't shrink after it was made and washed. She always did the cold salt water soak in a sink and wrung them out by hand. This doubled as preshrinking.


I have started numerous projects and just don't want to stand in front of the kitchen sink to do all the different colors of fabric. I am running each piece in the washer with a small load, cold water setting. I put 1/2 cup salt in it.

While these loads are running I will stay stitch around the edges of the large pieces of double sided quilting to prevent the batting from coming out around the edges. I will then throw them in one color at a time in cold salt water to wash.

By Marty from Knoxville, TN

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August 22, 20120 found this helpful

Well, ok, but I think most cloth is pre-shrunk & dye set these days. I'm sure not all, but most? Is it really necessary? I wish I knew. I only sew once in awhile.

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August 27, 20120 found this helpful

For "Jazzyme"

I try to shrink everything I make, including the zippers, seam binding, or inner facings - just everything that I use, I've learned the hard way that to miss something can make all the time spent carefully making the item, wasted! And you have to throw away the project! Not fun! Treat everything as it might be treated in the future. Might someone need to wash in hot water? Might I forget to turn the dryer heat down? Shrink everything you can!

If you always do it, you can rest assured that one thing will go right anyway. Keep on practicing and your skills will be getting better all the time.

XOXO - Chilli

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August 28, 20120 found this helpful

Mama always reminded me of the place in the New Testament where the Lord Jesus admonished folks to avoid sewing unshrunk cloth to that which had been shrunk. It's worth the extra time and effort not to lose all that work. Thanks for the interest.

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November 5, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have an emerald green evening dress that I want to make white. Is this possible and how would you suggest I do this?

By Lisette

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November 6, 20130 found this helpful

I don't think there is any way to remove all the dye from a dark dress like this. Even if you were able to bleach out the color without damaging the fabric (and most evening gowns are dry clean only), it would definitely leave color at every sewed seam.

If you do find a way, please let us know. Good luck.

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November 10, 20130 found this helpful

I agree with the previous poster. There is likely no possible way to remove the dye from an evening dress without destroying the fabric.

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Anonymous Flag
January 6, 20160 found this helpful

RIT makes a product for removing dye. Ive never used it before so I dont know how it will react but I would recommend you test it on a swatch of similar fabric. Get a swatch from your local fabric store if you dont have a silk or satin pillow case to use.

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