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Advice About Dyeing Clothing

I am going to dye some shirts and I only want them to be light purple. I want one large one to be dark purple and then the rest to be light purple. Should I add more water to do the others or does dying one dark take out some of the dye properties? If I do them separately, should I just use one pack for the light? I am doing tiny t-shirts, how many do you think I can do to get them light purple? The shirt I want to be dark is an adult sweater type knit, LG size, 100% cotton tank top. The ones I want to be light are light blue 100% cotton tiny t-shirts.


By Stephaniwize from Phoenix, AZ

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January 14, 20110 found this helpful

I would think that if you put them all in the dye bath, then check the colors periodically, you can remove the ones that you want to be lighter colored sooner, and just leave the ones you want darker in longer. The dye packet should tell you about how many shirts you can do with one packet.

Ad may have some answers. Good luck!

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January 15, 20110 found this helpful

I don't use dye. I use acrylic paint. It is much more permanent and you can get any color you want, mix whatever color you want. I thin out the paint with a little water in a small cup, and then I pour warm water into a large bucket, adding the diluted paint to the warm water. Stir well, add the garment, stir again for a couple minutes to distribute the color evenly. Wearing plastic gloves, remove the clothing, squeezing out as much water as you can. Hang on a line until completely dry. (This is what makes the color permanent) It will be a little stiff and smelly!! Wash and dry as usual, and the smell is gone, the color lasts forever, (no fading) and it's not stiff. I swear, I think using the paint helps the fabric last longer. I have tie-dyed using the paint, and the areas that got no paint wore out!

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

I do this a lot. I'm a costume designer for the theater. My experience has been that the first garment to go in will soak up the most dye in the dye-bath, so whatever you want to be the darkest, put that in first. Get it to the shade you want it (remember that wet cotton will look darker, wet.) and then put your other things in next, checking them frequently. I do this a lot to get the most bang out of my dye-bath, even adding other colors to extend it further! But I always go from darkest shade to lightest, since the bath looses intensity as the various fibers soak up the dye. Good luck to you!

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

Depending on fabric content on what the final color will be. Dye them separately to ensure each is what color you want. Any piece with even a little synthetic is going to stay lighter. Cotton will be the best absorber. I do a lot of dying of things, from window sheers to husband's work shirts/jeans.


When you are done dying them ( I have a top loader so use my washer and sud saver tub for capture of dye to keep redoing with same) Make sure you wash with a cup of salt to set the dye. Screw ups can be undone with the Rit Dye Remover. If you are redoing the dye job yearly (I do the curtains), un-dye them then use new dye. A pain of a job, but cheaper way to recycle and keep things from the landfills.

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January 13, 20110 found this helpful

How do I dye a navy blue dress, red?

By Ellen from VA


Advice About Dyeing Clothing

I don't think it can be done. First of all you would have to use color remover to remove the original color, and the fabric might not get pure white, it could come out a real pale blue or even a tan color. It would all depend what type of fabric and the dye that was used. It also might not come out evenly. (09/29/2010)


By redhatterb

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September 29, 20100 found this helpful

Can I dye clothes in a top loading HE washer and how can I do this?

By Katie from Wilmington, OH


Advice About Dyeing Clothing

I've run into people who dye items in their washers all the time. Some of them have no problems, they just fill the machine with the appropriate amount of water, dye, and fabric. Let sit or agitate, but do not let drain until desired time has elapsed. My washer won't drain if the lid is up, all machines are different.

Unfortunately, using dye in a washing machine has a risk. You may get some dye residue left in the machine where you can't get to it to wipe it out, therefore ruining whatever you wash for the next few loads. One friend tells me that if you run a load or two of vinegar water and or bleach water through your machine after the dye load that it will remove the excess residue.

But again every machine is different as are the different dyes you use. So in short, yes you can dye using a top loading washer, but be aware of the possible risk. (08/20/2010)


By liddycoat

Advice About Dyeing Clothing

I just dyed something today, but since it was only one shirt, I did it on top of the stove. I left it on simmer for 30 minutes and stirred it occasionally. I used Rit brand. (08/24/2010)

By Laniegirl

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August 20, 20100 found this helpful

I've always loved wearing really unique colors and odd color combinations, i.e. red shirt with blue pants, purple shirt with white pants, etc. However, I've been thinking lately, is there a way to dye clothing efficiently to get even more unique colors than are commercially available?

I have a lot of colors of shirts, so I don't think I'd need any more, but what about my pants. I wear long Dickies brand pants, and their color range is limited. Would it be feasible to buy a pair of white pants and then use some sort of cloth dye on them to craft myself a bright green pant? Or maybe a baby blue? Or even a bumble-bee yellow? This would bring a whole new dimension to my clothing.

So, the question is, how and where does one purchase clothing dyes? How effectively do they work? Will they work on heavy-duty Dickies pants? Lastly, will they be wash-safe, or will the colors run?

Thanks in advance!


Advice About Dying Clothing

Rit brand clothing dyes are available in lots of places, including your local grocery store, WalMart, Target, etc. Check the laundry aisle. They have lots of different colors, but they work best on natural fabrics like cotton. The color doesn't stick so well on synthetics like polyester. So if your pants are a cotton-poly mix, the colors will not turn out as brilliant or vivid as they would on all-cotton. The dyes will work on heavy cloth too, as long as you purchase enough dye. The instructions on the box/bottle usually tell you how much dye to use per pound of cloth.

The color is wash-safe, after the item has been washed a few times. Good luck! (07/25/2005)

By sunhat

Advice About Dying Clothing

I have also recently started dyeing clothes and have found it to be a really great way to "recycle" clothes. I am not sure if this is an old wives tale, but I was told by some to put salt into the dye when washing. It supposedly helps color to set in cloth more. Again, not sure if this is true or not. Maybe other more experienced might have heard of this and whether useful or not. (06/05/2009)

By blondrosecat

Advice About Dying Clothing

For anyone who likes yellow shades, try experimenting with spices. A favorite white cotton T-shirt of mine turned pink in the wash, and I hate pink. So I sprinkled some saffron and some tumeric (lying around the kitchen for years) into a basin of hot water, and within an hour I had a tied-dyed pale yellow look. I left it soaking for several more hours, and the shirt is now an even deep shade of yellow.

Good luck! (06/05/2009)

By bsvgs

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